EITC Funders Network eNewsletter
Issue 33 I December 2016 
A Note From the Coordinator

Dear EITC Funders Network,
Last month's election underscored the fact that, in many ways, we are a country divided. During these uncertain times, we want to stay in dialogue with you. As a network of funders committed to ensuring the promise of financial stability and economic opportunity for all, it is more important than ever to work together.
While much has changed, we still know that most Americans, regardless of political affiliation, said they wanted the next president and Congress to do more to reduce child poverty in our country. We know that that the EITC and Child Tax Credit (CTC) are a vital piece of this effort, not only as  proven poverty-reduction policies , but as a way to realize positive health, education, and earnings outcomes in the next generation . And we know that the EITC has the power to cross all kinds of divides.
As we find a path forward, let us know how you are thinking about your work. And call on us to help support your efforts in advancing positive solutions to support economic security and to provide opportunity for all workers and their families.

Ami Nagle, Coordinator
EITC Funders Network

Inside This Issue
  • What's Next? An  Interview with EITC Policy Experts:
    • Robert Greenstein, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and Elizabeth Kneebone, Brookings Institute
    • EITC as Cost-Effective Health Policy Investment
    • Resources on the EITC Refund Delay and New Rules Affecting Immigrant Taxpayers
    • Access to Credit Remains Tight for Communities of Color
    • Student Financial Aid Application Simplified
  • Recent  Network Events:
    • Savings, EITC, and Financial Coaching, Washington DC, September 2016
    • Advancing Opportunity for South Carolinians, Columbia, SC, November 2016 
  • From our Partners:
    • Taxpayer Opportunity Network (TON) recent webinar: Delayed Refund VITA Communications Campaign
    • Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR) resource page for philanthropy
Interview with EITC Policy Experts InterviewwithaFunder
In the wake of the 2016 election, we turned to two federal EITC policy experts to tell us their views on what's next for the federal EITC. 

Click here to read responses from  Robert Greenstein, Founder and President of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and  Elizabeth Kneebone, Fellow at the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institute, to the question:

Given the outcome of the election, what are the prospects for maintaining or changing the federal EITC in the new administration and next Congress?

News from the Field / Research News News

A Cost-Effective Health Policy Investment
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health has released a new study showing that the EITC can be a highly cost-effective health policy investment. Researchers analyzed data from the 1993-2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System surveys as well as state level life expectancy and determined the cost-effectiveness of state EITC supplements using a microsimulation model that estimates government costs and benefits to recipients. Findings showed that the program is more cost effective than many other health interventions and also has the potential to reverse mortality trends. The findings are published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.
Resources on the EITC Refund Delay and New Rules Affecting Immigrant Taxpayers

The 2017 tax season is right around the corner and there are two changes that should be of concern to the EITC outreach and free-tax preparation community: a refund delay for taxpayers claiming the EITC and the new ITIN revalidation requirements

See the IRS site for more information on these provisions (for example, these pages on the refund delay and ITIN revalidation), and check out the additional resource below:
  • Immigrant Taxpayers: Resources - in both English and Spanish - on the ITIN revalidation process are available on the National Council of La Raza's (NCLR) ITIN resource page.
Access to Credit Remains Tight for Communities of Color

new policy brief from the Center for Responsible Lending  analyzes 2015 mortgage data and shows that lenders and secondary market actors continue to underserve people of color and low- to moderate-income families. While the share of loans made to Hispanic and African-American borrowers rose modestly in 2015, it remained below the proportionate population share. In addition, African American and Hispanic consumers were more likely to be served through government insured programs rather than the conventional market. In 2015, only 7.8 percent of conventional mortgage loans went to African American and Hispanic borrowers. 
Student Financial Aid Application Simplified

This year, the student financial aid application process starts earlier than tax season. A new Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) was released on October 1st for the 2017-2018 school year and contains changes that could benefit low-income and independent adult students. The Department of Education opened the filing period  three months earlier this year and has simplified the application process by allowing students to report income and asset information via the prior year's tax return using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. As CLASP reports, this simplification will save students time and effort and will give them the opportunity to make informed college decisions by applying earlier. 

Network Events NetworkEvents

As you know, much of our work at the EITC Funders Network is virtual. Through our Newsletters, webinars, and updates, we aim to keep you informed of emerging topics and conversations.This Fall, however, we had the great pleasure of connecting with some of you by co-hosting two in-person events.

Together with the Asset Funders Network, we hosted an opportunity for charitable foundations to explore the linkages between savings, the EITC, and financial coaching at the 2016 Assets Learning Conference in Washington, DC. The briefing contextualized the linkages within a two-generation poverty reduction framework, offered best practices and lessons learned from the field, and fostered the opportunity for peer-to-peer learning and collaboration.  We were fortunate to have a fantastic line-up of speakers and moderators who fostered productive and informative conversations. 

November 2nd, 2016 in Columbia, SC

We traveled to Columbia, SC on November 2nd to team up with the Greenville Partnership for Philanthropy, the South Carolina Grantmakers Network, the Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina, and the United Way Association of South Carolina for a local funder conversation on the EITC. The full day convening brought together funders, policy experts, and leaders in the field to talk about two-generation strategies and the role of tax credits. A spectacular line-up of national and local speakers and moderators framed thoughtful conversations on ways to build upon existing work to create economic security for families and children in South Carolina.

Anita Garrett of the United Way Association of South Carolina moderates a session on Poverty, Opportunity, and Two-Generation Approaches: Rosa Maria Castañeda, Annie E. Casey Foundation; Megan Branham, Children's Trust of South Carolina; Ralph Gildehaus, MDC, Inc.

Taxpayer Opportunity Network (TON) Webinar:
Delayed Refund VITA Communications Campaign:
Messaging Strategies and Tools for VITA Programs 

A webinar on November 18th featured representatives from Intuit Financial Freedom Foundation, Glen Echo Group, National Consumers League, and Prepare + Prosper to announce and roll out their messaging campaign around the delayed EITC refund. 

Grantmakers Concernced with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR):
Post- Election Resource Page for Philanthropy

Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR) has compiled a list of statements from philanthropy and NGO's on the election results as well as resources for organizations serving immigrants and refugees.

About the EITC Funders Network

The EITC Funders Network brings together funders interested in the Earned Income Tax Credit, free- and low-cost tax preparation, and asset building. The Network seeks to increase awareness of EITC-related projects, foster collaboration, share information about the current status of EITC-related work, and help shape the future of the field. 

The EITC Funders Network is generously funded by:
The Annie E. Casey Foundation
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation