NATIONAL POLICY & ADVOCACY GROUPS JOIN IN CELEBRATING SUCCESS OF EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT
Tax Credit Rewards Working Families, Prevents Millions from Slipping into Poverty
(Washington, D.C. – Jan. 26, 2011) – In conjunction with “EITC Awareness Day,” national policy and advocacy organizations gathered Thursday to laud the many ways the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) helps families, communities and local economies.
In these particularly difficult economic times, it’s crucial that all families who are eligible for the EITC actually claim it, said Jackie Lynn Coleman, Executive Director of the National Community Tax Coalition, which was joined by about a dozen partners in co-hosting a Congressional briefing on Capitol Hill.
“About one in five households eligible for the EITC don’t claim it, leaving much-needed money on the table,” Coleman said. “NCTC and our partners are working to maximize awareness of the credit and alleviate some of the heavy tax responsibility borne by struggling, working families.”
“Goodwill encourages workers with low and moderate incomes to inquire about and claim the Earned Income Tax Credit if they qualify,” said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International, one of twelve organizations co-hosting the event with NCTC. “Goodwill volunteers offer free tax preparation services in certain communities and have prepared more than 31,000 tax returns; helping workers increase their financial stability and strengthen their families.”
Conceived originally by the Nixon Administration and established in 1975, the EITC is a refundable tax credit available to low- and moderate-income working families. The credit long has been praised as one of the most effective ways to prevent families from falling into poverty and financial deterioration.
Due to its success in rewarding working families who are struggling to make ends meet – the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates the EITC kept about 6 million people out of poverty in 2010 – the EITC has been strengthened several times. Along with other vital tax credits, the EITC was improved upon again in 2009 as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Without Congressional action, these improvements will expire at the end of 2012.
NCTC – the country’s largest network of organizations offering free tax preparation services to low-income, working families – released a new report Thursday highlighting the importance of the credit for boosting families’ health and education outcomes as well as the vitality of local economies. NCTC was joined at the briefing by:
|Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
||New America Foundation
|Corporation for Enterprise Development
||One Economy Corporation
|Community Action Partnership
||First Nations Oweesta Corporation
|Doorways to Dreams Fund
|Goodwill Industries International
||Tax Credits for Working Families
|National Disability Institute
||United Way Worldwide
The EITC has long enjoyed broad-based community support in its effort to promote and reward working families who are struggling to make ends meet. In addition to NCTC’s congressional briefing, community-based organizations around the country are airing television and radio commercials, hosting events and inviting elected officials to visit tax sites as part of the Internal Revenue Service’s annual “EITC Awareness Day,” which falls this year on Jan. 27.
The EITC has also been critical in supporting traditionally underserved communities, including rural populations, Native Americans and persons with disabilities. “One in three persons with disabilities lives in poverty, nearly double the national average. National Disability Institute, working with NCTC and hundreds of our national and local partners, has helped persons with disabilities take steps out of poverty by fostering understanding that claiming and receiving the EITC will not jeopardize public benefits," said Dr. Johnette Hartnett, Director of Strategic Partnerships for National Disability Institute.
In addition to Coleman, speakers at Thursday’s briefing included:
- Sara Johnson – Director, Baltimore CASH Campaign
- Jana Barresi – Manager of Federal Government Relations, Wal-Mart Corporation
- David Rothstein – Researcher, Policy Matters Ohio and New America Foundation
- Matt Weir – Executive Staff, National Taxpayer Advocate’s Office
The National Community Tax Coalition is a national network dedicated to strengthening economies, building communities and improving lives through tax assistance and asset building activities that produce financial security, protect families and promote economic justice.
For a copy of NCTC’s new paper, “The EITC: Good for Our Families, Community & Economy,” please visithttp://bit.ly/z0qgbM.
About National Disability Institute
National Disability Institute (NDI) is national non-profit organization dedicated to building a better economic future for people with disabilities. The first national organization committed exclusively to championing economic empowerment, financial education, asset development and financial stability for all persons with disabilities, National Disability Institute effects change through public education, policy development, training, technical assistance and innovative initiatives such as theReal Economic Impact (REI) Tour, which brings tax and financial education for people with disabilities to more than 100 cities nationwide. Since 2005, the REI Tour has helped more than 1 million people with disabilities receive more than $1 billion in tax refunds. To learn more, visit www.realeconomicimpact.org.
National Community Tax Coalition
312-346-6282 ext. 248
National Disability Institute