October 14, 2009
The Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit (CTC), Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC), and the dependent exemption all provide benefits to families with children. In 2009, a single mom (or dad) with two children can receive benefits ranging from $0 to about $7,500 - depending on her income, age of the children, and where the children live. While this assistance is extremely important to many low-income families, they must navigate a bewildering set of rules to take full advantage of the credits. Due to the piecewise implementation of these credits and exemptions, total benefits bounce around erratically as income grows.