Low-income working families face enormous challenges. Key among them is how to pay for decent child care. The federal income tax code subsidizes child care in several ways. The largest subsidy is the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC), a nonrefundable tax credit that offsets up to 35 percent of working parents' child care costs, subject to limits. Though not earmarked specifically for child care, the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) provide more help to low-income working families. This paper considers options to reform the CDCTC to assist low-income families, and examines expansions to the refundable tax credits that help families with children.
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