EITC Funders Network eNewsletter
Issue 35 I June 2017 
A Note From the Coordinator

Dear EITC Funders Network,
As you know, last month President Trump released his fiscal year 2018 budget proposal . In addition to deep cuts to core safety net programs, the proposal includes a provision to cut spending for the EITC and Child Tax Credit (CTC) by $40 billion. The proposal also curtails tax credit eligibility and bars tax-paying, immigrant parents who file taxes using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) from being able to claim the CTC. This shift could impact approximately five million children , the majority of whom are U.S. citizens.
Although the budget proposal is only a recommendation, the document represents a shift in the administration's rhetoric on tax credits for working families, and provides insight into the programs the President wants to fund, cut or eliminate.
In contrast to the news on the federal level, state EITCs are continuing to move forward. Both South Carolina and Montana enacted bills last month to create state-level EITCs on top of the federal credit. Notably, South Carolina's EITC legislation, which passed with bipartisan support as part of a larger tax reform package, created a non-refundable credit worth 125 percent of the federal credit.
Here at the EITC Funders Network, we'll keep monitoring the movement on both the federal and state levels. We are also working on related learning events. This Fall, we'll be partnering with Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR) and the Grantmakers Income Security Taskforce (GIST) on a webinar focused on immigrant access to public benefits and tax credits -- stay tuned for more information coming soon.

Ami Nagle, Coordinator
EITC Funders Network

Inside This Issue
    • Susan Mason, Director of the Intuit Financial Freedom Foundation
    • Research on State Tax Credits and Advancing Racial Equity
    • Report on Income Volatility and the Implications for Low-Income Tax Filers
    • The Chilling Impact of Recent Policies on Immigrant Families
    • Spending Bill Leaves out Assets for Independence (AFI)
    • Upcoming GCIR Monthly Immigration Call: Trauma and Resilience - Supporting Immigrant Children, their Families, and Our Communities through Collaboration (Thursday, June 15, 2017 at 4pm EDT)
    • ICYMI: Asset Funders Network Webinar: The Health and Wealth Connection - Opportunities for Investment Across the Life Course (February 2017) 

Recent Events from the Field:

    • CBPP's Get it Back Webinar: Developing Partnerships to Expand Outreach (May 2017)
    • CFED and National Council of La Raza Webinar: The Ever-Growing Racial Wealth Gap: Policy Origins, Policy Solutions (March 2017) 
InterviewwithaFunderInterview with a Funder
Susan Mason, Director
Intuit Financial Freedom Foundation

Why does the Intuit Financial Freedom Foundation support free tax preparation and EITC-related work?
As a corporation, we are interested in ensuring that taxpayers are able to prepare and file their taxes easily and get back what they are entitled to.  This goal is mirrored in the Foundation, with a focus on promoting financial literacy and independence. We donate our products to the low-income and underserved in order to help simplify their lives and help solve their financial challenges.

fieldnewsNews from the Field / Research News
Research on State Tax Credits and Advancing Racial Equity
The Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire recently released a report demonstrating the effectiveness of state credits in poverty reduction efforts, particularly for households of color. Using Current Population Survey (CPS) Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) data from 2010 to 2014, the  report finds that families receiving state EITC benefits receive a meaningful boost in income -- on average, in states with fully refundable state credits, families receive 2.4 percent of their total family earnings from the credits. Researchers also found that the impact of state credits vary by race. Average state EITC benefits lift 0.7 non-White or Hispanic-headed households out of poverty compared to 0.2  households headed by white, non-Hispanic individuals.  Read the full report: State EITC Programs Provide Important Relief to Families in Need. 
Report on Income Volatility & the Implications for Low-Income Tax Filers
The Tax Policy Center's new report on income volatility finds that the majority of working age  adults live in households in which income during at least one month per year will fluctuate significantly (at least 25 percent above or below average monthly income). The percentage of low-income, working-age adults who experience this fluctuation is especially high -- 64 percent experience income volatility. Highly volatile income complicates tax filing, the report notes, and makes estimating a tax refund and tax credit amounts difficult. The result can be additional economic strain as families tend to plan and depend on a refund and/or tax credit to meet basic needs. Read the full report here: Income Volatility: New Research Results with Implications for Tax Filing and Liabilities.
The Chilling Impact of Recent Policies on Immigrant Families
In recent months, advocates have noted the chilling effect proposed and actual policies that impact immigrant families have had in the context of access to government programs and services. Tax filings during this past tax season may also be part of this story as advocates fear that immigration policies kept undocumented immigrants from filing tax returns on time. The recent proposal to cut access to the CTC for mixed-status immigrant families is another step in this direction. CLASP lays out the reasons why all children should have access to the CTC in this fact sheet. As noted above, the EITC Funders Network will partner with GCIR and GIST on a webinar focused on immigrant access to public benefits and tax credits this Fall. More details coming soon.
Spending Bill Leaves Out Assets for Independence  (AFI)

In April, Congress agreed to an "Omnibus" spending bill, funding the federal government 
through September, but leaving out funding for Assets for Independence (AFI). AFI is a federal program that, for almost 20 years, been the largest source of funding for Individual Development Accounts (IDA's). Despite advocacy efforts to save the program, as part of a $900 million cut to the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and Education, AFI's $18.95 million in funding was eliminated. Read more about the Omnibus and its significant impact in this CFED Inclusive Economy blog post .
Affinity Group Partner Events affinitygroup

GCIR Monthly Immigration Call
Trauma and Resilience: Supporting Immigrant Children, their Families, and Our Communities through Collaboration
Date: Thursday, June 15, 2017 at 4pm EDT 

GCIR's June Monthly Immigration Policy Call will delve into the policy issues impacting immigrant and refugee children, and children of immigrants and refugees; examine the role of trauma-informed approaches to support children and their families and build upon their strengths; and explore funder approaches to incorporating mental health services for children and their families in communities. 

Please register by close of business on June 14, 2017.
Calls are open to GCIR members, other grantmaking institutions, philanthropic advisors, and members and staff of funder affinity groups and regional associations of grantmakers. (Participation is limited to organizations that share GCIR's core values.)

ICYMI: Asset Funders Network Webinar (February 2017)

The Health and Wealth Connection: Opportunities for Investment Across the Life Course
People's relationship with money impacts their health. Data indicates assets, income, and health are inexorably linked. On the one hand, good health is associated with higher wealth and income, better employment and education. On the other hand, we know that adults with more financial resources have better health and live longer lives. Throughout one's course of life, the challenges of health and wealth are connected. The webinar featured the new AFN Grantmaker Brief, The Health and Wealth Connection: Opportunities for Investment Across the Life Course, with authors Jason Q. Purnell, PhD, MPH & Anjum Hajat, PhD, MPH., and highlighted the opportunity funders have to bridge interests and cross silos to make stronger connections between wealth building, economic security, and prevention and health outcomes.

Recent Events from the Fieldfrompartners
Get it Back Webinar (May 2017) 
Developing Partnerships to Expand Outreach 
Click here to access the recording.

Strong partnerships are at the core of any thriving tax credit outreach initiative. In addition to nurturing existing collaborations, it is important to establish new connections. This training explores how to build mutually-beneficial partnerships with universities, banks, and businesses.

CFED and National Council of La Raza Webinar (March 2017)

The Ever-Growing Racial Wealth Gap: Policy Origins, Policy Solutions 
Click here to access the recording.
On this webinar, attendees joined Asset Building Policy Network (ABPN) members CFED and National Council of La Raza (NCLR) for an interactive webinar on Thursday, March 23, as we discussed the racial wealth divide and the role that tax policies play in driving this ever-growing gap. We talked about policies like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) that are helping to combat the racial wealth gap and actions we can take to ensure the tax code is helping those who need the most help building wealth, build wealth. We spoke with CFED's Emanuel Nieves, Senior Policy Manager, and Chad Bolt, Legislative Analyst, as well as with Yuqi Wang, Policy Analyst with NCLR. 
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