Understanding the Maze of Recent Child and Work Incentive Proposals

Brief

Understanding the Maze of Recent Child and Work Incentive Proposals

Abstract

Policymakers continue to grapple with the related issues of unequal incomes, relatively poor health, education, and economic outcomes for low-income children, and hardship among low- and moderate-income families. To address these issues, several policymakers have proposed legislation that would provide substantial refundable tax credits. In this brief, we detail who benefits from the two largest refundable tax credits designed to help low- and middle-income families: the earned income tax credit (EITC) and the child tax credit (CTC). We then describe the most recent large-scale tax credit proposals that would provide substantial and ongoing benefits to a large group of people through these or similar credits. We include the Cost-of-Living Refund, LIFT (Livable Income for Families Today) the Middle Class Act, the American Families Act, and the Working Families Tax Relief Act. Our analysis shows who benefits from each proposal and who would be left out (or receive only a small share) of benefits from each proposal. We will release new analyses as more information and new proposals become available.

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