WASHINGTON – Ahead of tax day, U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) introduced the Working Families Tax Relief Act.
At a time when wages are stagnant and the cost of childcare has exploded, the Working Families Tax Relief Act would cut taxes for workers and families by expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC). EITC and CTC are two of the most effective tools we have to put money in the pockets of working people and pull children out of poverty. Expanding them will give millions more Americans a foothold in the middle class. The bill also includes a measure authored by Senators Cardin and Wyden which gives the IRS authority to impose standards on paid tax preparers, cutting down on fraud and ensuring customers can trust that they will receive quality service. Experts estimate that it would benefit close to 50 million children and 45 million households across the country, including 809,000 children and 730,000 households in Maryland.
Meanwhile, Americans are filing their taxes and more people are seeing President Trump’s and the Congressional Republicans’ tax scam for what it really was – a handout to millionaires and billionaires at the expense of working families. The Working Families Tax Relief Act would cut taxes for workers and families left behind by the President’s tax law.
“This legislation is an important step which counters the Trump tax scam and returns some of that money back to working families,” said Senator Cardin. “It would benefit Maryland children and families by expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, which are some of our most effective tools to combat poverty.”
“Real tax reform would put working-class and middle-class families first. Instead, the Republican tax scam gave billions of dollars in tax breaks to the wealthy and large corporations,” said Senator Van Hollen. “The expansions of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit in the Working Families Tax Relief Act would be crucial for families trying to get by. I urge my colleagues to take up this legislation immediately, and to move forward on tax policy that benefits hard-working Americans instead of a select few.”
Arizona teacher and mother Julie Groce, whose family relies on the EITC and CTC to get by, spoke on Capitol Hill about how the legislation would affect her family.
“Having a one-year-old is incredibly expensive. Between diapers, doctor’s visits, childcare, and more, we struggle to cover everything we need,” Groce said. “We do all we can to make every dollar count, but there are still months where we’re worried about paying all our bills. It’s frustrating and stressful every day. The current Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit are essential for us, and they go straight to necessities like childcare, health care, paying down debt and building our savings. But it’s a drop in the bucket compared to what we need, especially because these credits don’t account for the expenses we face with a child who is so young. By expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit and creating a fully refundable Child Tax Credit with a young child boost, the Working Families Tax Relief Act would be an incredible help to my family and so many others. It would ease so much of the financial stress we face during this special time in our child’s life.”
The Working Families Tax Relief Act would:
- Boost the incomes of 46 million households and 114 million people, including 43 million children.
- Lift 7 million people out of poverty, including 3 million children.
- Expand the EITC for families with children by roughly 25 percent.
- Significantly expand the EITC for workers without children and make the credit available for people starting at age 19 up to age 67. Currently, workers without children can be pulled under the poverty line by taxes. Expanding the EITC would fix that.
- Make the CTC fully refundable, so the more than 26 million children who were left out of the Trump tax law get the support they deserve.
- Create a Young Child Tax Credit to provide extra support to children five and under, when research says they need it most.
- Allow workers to draw a $500 advance payment on their EITC so that families aren’t forced to turn to predatory payday lenders when the car breaks down or other unexpected expenses come up.
Read more about the bill HERE.
Along with Senators Cardin and Van Hollen (both D-Md.), cosponsors of the bill include: Senators Brown (D-Ohio), Bennet (D-Colo.), Durbin (D-Ill.), Wyden (D-Ore.), Leahy (D-Vt.), Murray (D-Wash.), Reed (D-R.I.), Schumer (D-N.Y.), Carper (D-Del.), Stabenow (D-Mich.), Cantwell (D-Wash.), Menendez (N.J.), Sanders (I-Vt.), Casey (D-Pa.), Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Tester (D-Mont.), Udall (D-N.M.), Shaheen (D-N.H.), Warner (D-Va.), Merkley (D-Ore.), Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Coons (D-Del.), Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Schatz (D-Hawaii), Baldwin (D-Wis.), Murphy (D-Conn.), Hirono (Hawaii), Heinrich (D-N.M.), King (I-Maine), Kaine (D-Va.), Warren (D-Mass.), Markey (D-Mass.), Booker (D-N.J.), Peters (D-Mich.), Duckworth (D-Ill.), Hassan (D-N.H.), Harris (D-Calif.), Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Smith (Minn.), Jones (Ala.) and Rosen (Nev.).