Investing an additional 2% in proven poverty reduction strategies could reduce the number of children in poverty by 60% according to a new report by the Children’s Defense Fund. Ending Child Poverty Now outlines a series of policy changes and federal investments that collectively result in marked economic improvements for poor families and their children. Notes CDF President Marian Wright Edelman, “The younger children are the poorer they are during their years of greatest brain development. . .child poverty is too expensive to continue.”
Among the recommended strategies are increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) to increase employment and make work pay for adults with children.
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) provides work, income, educational, and health benefits to its recipients and their children. In addition, recent research indicates that children of EITC recipients do better in school, are more likely to attend college, and earn more as adults. The Child Tax Credit (CTC), a related credit that’s designed to help offset the cost of child-rearing, also plays a major role in helping low-income working families.
January 30, 2015 is EITC Awareness Day. A toolkit for community partners is available from the IRS to help get the word out to families who qualify but don’t file a tax return or miss the credits they deserve.
Information on free tax filing sites in communities throughout the state is available from the Florida Prosperity Partnership.