Research Report The War on Poverty Moves to the Tax Code
Leonard E. Burman, Elaine Maag
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In 1975, the federal income tax code joined the "War on Poverty" with the enactment of the earned income tax credit (EITC). Today, tax credits form some of the largest and most effective anti-poverty programs in the US. In 2012, the Census Bureau estimated that tax credits cut poverty (under a broad measure that includes the effect of programs like Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits and the EITC) by 3 percentage points more than SNAP (1.6 points) and TANF (0.2 points). The tax credits cut child poverty by a whopping 6.7 percentage points.
Research Areas Economic mobility and inequality Social safety net Taxes and budgets
Tags Poverty Individual taxes
Policy Centers Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center