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Elaine Maag

Senior Fellow, Research

I believe that we can work toward providing a strong safety net for all people—and that the tax system will always be an important part of that effort.

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Brief

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed vast social and economic inequities in the US, which prompted unprecedented relief policies that, for one year, brought child poverty to its lowest levels in decades. However, as the economy enters a new phase of robust job growth, high inflation, and ongoing...

October 17, 2022
Joseph BroadusHilary HoynesElaine MaagDanny Rose
Research report

Refundable tax credits can play an important role in the financial lives of low-income families. The two that provide the most support are the earned income tax credit (EITC) and the child tax credit (CTC). Refundable tax credits differ from most programs that provide income support to low-...

October 17, 2022
Elaine MaagH. Elizabeth PetersNikhita AiriKaren E. Smith
Brief

In 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act temporarily expanded the child tax credit (CTC) to provide a credit of up to $3,000 per child ages 6 to 17 and up to $3,600 per child under age 6. Many families with very low incomes, including some not typically required to file a tax return, were eligible...

August 3, 2022
Michael KarpmanElaine Maag
Brief

Families typically receive the child tax credit (CTC) as part of an annual refund after filing their tax returns. The American Rescue Plan Act changed that temporarily. From July to December 2021, the Internal Revenue Service automatically delivered up to half the anticipated annual credit to...

July 27, 2022
Elaine MaagMichael Karpman
Brief

The American Rescue Plan temporarily increased the child tax credit (CTC) in 2021, including extending the credit to families who had not previously filed tax returns. The Internal Revenue Service automatically sent monthly payments of the CTC to families that had filed a tax return in 2019 or...

May 18, 2022
Fay WalkerElaine Maag
Research report

The 2021 temporary expansion of the child tax credit (CTC) was unprecedented in its reach, lifting 3.7 million children out of poverty as of December 2021. It provided families with up to $3,600 for every child in the household under the age of six, and up to $3,000 for every child between the...

April 19, 2022
Leah HamiltonStephen RollMathieu DespardElaine MaagYung ChunLaura BruggerMichal Grinstein-Weiss
Research report

Direct income supports (such as cash transfers) can stabilize households during crises and recoveries. They show special promise as an equitable means of assisting families of color with low incomes, who because of structural racism are disproportionately affected...

February 24, 2022
Emily Bramhall Olivia FiolPeace GwamElaine MaagEleanor NobleFay Walker
Research report

Public benefit programs have the potential to help stabilize families when their income drops and can provide support as parents enter or reenter the workforce. As a family’s earnings rise, though, those earnings increases are often offset by declines in public...

January 11, 2022
Theresa AndersonAmelia CoffeyHannah DalyHeather HahnElaine MaagKevin Werner

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