Politics

Brown Introduces Act to Expand Earned Income, Child Tax Credits

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown was among those who introduced on Wednesday the Working Families Tax Relief Act, a bill that would expand earned income and child tax credits.

“All across the country, families are working harder than ever but have less and less to show for it. Corporate profits have soared, executive compensation has exploded, but wages are flat. Meanwhile the cost of everything from healthcare to education and housing is up,” said Brown, D-Ohio, in a release. “Our bill would help put more money back in the pockets of working families and set children up for future success.”

The act raises the maximum credit for workers without children to $2,070 and expands the age range for eligible taxpayers to 19, lowered from 25, through 67, increased from the current 64. For those with kids, the tax credit would be increased by roughly 25%. In addition, taxpayers would also be able to draw a one-time, interest-free advance of $500 on their earned income tax credit, aimed at mitigating the use of payday lenders.

For recipients of the child tax credit, the Working Families Tax Relief Act would make the credit fully refundable and allows families to opt for monthly installments rather than a single lump sum.

The bill also creates the Young Child Tax Credit, which would provide an extra $1,000 for each child under 5, up to $3,000 per family. In addition, taxpayers would also be able to draw a one-time

A bipartisan provision was added by U.S. Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Ben Cardin, D-Md., that would give the IRS authority to impose standard on paid tax preparers.

In all, the act would boost the incomes of 46 million households and 114 million people, said Brown and the 44 Democratic senators who introduced the act, and would help lift 7 million out of poverty.

The legislation was introduced in advance of the deadline to file personal income tax returns, April 15, and on the same day the commissioner of the IRS, Charles Rettig, appeared before the Senate Finance Committee. Portman, who serves on the committee, asked Rettig about the agency’s infrastructure to reduce tax-related identify theft.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.