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Urban Institute Thursday's Child
Where Credit Is Due: Why Tax Policy for Low-Income Working Families Isn't Working (and What Can Be Done About It)

Thursday, March 13
9 a.m.-10:30 a.m.

Urban Institute
2100 M Street, NW
Washington DC

Register Now

Uncle Sam uses the child tax credit (CTC) and the earned income tax credit (EITC) to help working families with children. Yet these major initiatives leave out or provide limited assistance to some very low income families. For example, the CTC distributed about $45 billion to 31 million families in 2007, but fewer than 10 percent of families with an eligible child and earnings under $14,000 benefited from the credit.

The EITC lifts roughly 4 million people out of poverty each year. However, critics suggest that the complexity of the EITC stymies many eligible families from enjoying this vital work support.

Panelists will discuss why tax programs for low-income families have expanded in recent years, while subsidy programs have remained relatively constant. They will also analyze problems that arise due to different treatment of families by CTC and EITC, and the outlook and options for refining these programs that aim to support working families.


  • Janet Holtzblatt, senior analyst, Health and Human Resources Division, Congressional Budget Office
  • Elaine Maag, research associate, Urban Institute and Tax Policy Center
  • Meg Newman, EITC campaign coordinator, Capital Area Asset Building Corporation
  • Julie Roin, professor, University of Chicago Law School
  • Moderator: John Maggs, correspondent, National Journal