EITC Funders Network eNewsletter
Issue 42 | March 2019
A Note from the Coordinator
Dear EITC Funders Network,
In this tax filing season, many immigrant families with children are finding themselves no longer eligible for the Child Tax Credit (CTC). The CTC - similar to the EITC – was established and initially expanded with bipartisan support and has been proven effective in reducing poverty for working families. The new federal tax law passed in December 2017, signed by President Trump, denies the credit to families with immigrant children who do not have a social security number. The change impacts an estimated 1 million children, most in low-income working families, the very population the tax credit is designed to benefit.

As part of our video series on Equity and the Tax Code, we recently spoke with Francine Lipman, William S. Boyd Professor of Law at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas about the importance of monitoring this provision - it will expire on December 31, 2025 - and some of the other ways the current tax code makes it more difficult for immigrants to gain economic security and build assets. 
What are some of the ways the tax code makes it more difficult for immigrants - especially those who are undocumented or in mixed-status families - to gain economic security and build assets?
What is on the horizon for child tax credits?
Check out our full video series here and take a look at these additional resources and frameworks:


Ami Nagle
EITC Funders Network
You are Invited to Join a
Discussion Group on Equity, Tax Policy, and Community Engagement

In 2017 and 2018, Economic Opportunity Funders (EOF) and the EITC Funders Network engaged their members in conversations about the role of tax policy in advancing racial and gender equity. As part of these discussions, we found that too often the foundations working on equity and the foundations working on tax policy were not in the same rooms sharing analyses and strategies. In 2019, EOF and the EITC Funders Network are launching a discussion group to provide a platform for funders to share strategies, questions and learnings.

LEARN MORE AND SIGN UP HERE   (please register no later than March 15, 2019).  

Participation in this working groups is by invitation only. If you have a colleague who may be interested in participating, please contact Sabine Schoenbach at sabine@eitcfunders.org.

Interview with a Funder
Nikki Foster , Program Officer
and Margie Jo Eun Joo Andreason , Diversity Equity Inclusion (DEI) Manager

In what ways are the Northwest Area Foundation’s program goals around achieving sustainable prosperity grounded in a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion?

At the program level, we’ve had a version of this conversation for many years. In recent years, however, we’ve embarked on an intentional  diversity, equity and inclusion  (DEI) journey that includes an explicit racial equity lens. As a foundation, we are trying to better understand the intersections of race and poverty and the impacts of racial discrimination at all levels – individual, systemic, and structural – on limiting opportunities for communities to thrive on their own terms.

What topic or issue would you be interested to talk with your funder-colleagues about?

We would like to connect with other funders who have committed to being on a DEI journey and learn more how they are engaging their community partners, staff, and board. We would also like to learn about how their journey has impacted grantmaking strategies and how they find partners to join them in their efforts.

Research News & News from the Field
Higher IRS Audit Rates for EITC Recipients
A December article from ProPublica takes a closer look at IRS audit rates by income. While higher-income taxpayers are still more likely to be audited, under pressure from Congress, the IRS has kept the audit rate of EITC recipients relatively high due to concerns about overpayment. The consistent budget cuts at the IRS, reports ProPublica, have decreased audit rates overall, but audits of EITC recipients have dropped the least:

“What happens is you have people at the very top being prioritized and people at the very bottom being prioritized, and everyone else is sort of squeezed out,” said John Dalrymple, who retired last year as deputy commissioner of the IRS. In 2017, EITC recipients were audited at twice the rate of taxpayers with income between $200,000 and $500,000. Only households with income above $1 million were examined at significantly higher rates.

Access the full article: Who's More Likely to Be Audited? A Person Making $20,000 -- or $400,000? (ProPublica, December 2018)
VITA Stories from Arkansas

Winthrop Rockefeller and Entergy have put together a series of short videos shining a spotlight on the work of Arkansas’ VITA partners.Take a look at this video highlighting how VITA is demystifying taxes and is a springboard to a culture of savings in Arkansas.
2019 Scorecard Recommends Enactment and Improvement of State EITCs
The 2019 Prosperity Now Scorecard, a resource for data on household financial health on the state and federal levels, finds that an alarming percentage of Americans – especially households of color - are currently living in financial uncertainty. For the first time, the 2019 Scorecard also ranks states on racial disparities. The report recommends enacting state EITCs or improving existing state tax credits as part of a policy agenda to improve economic stability and advance racial equity.

Access the Scorecard’s national and state-level data, interactive map, and policy recommendations: Prosperity Now 2019 Scorecard (Prosperity Now, January 2019)
More Proposals to Expand the EITC for Workers without Dependent Children
A group of bipartisan thought leaders comprising the Aspen Institute’s Economic Strategy Group have proposed expansion of the EITC for workers without dependent children as a policy option to increase wages and expand labor force participation. The proposal would increase the amount of the credit for childless workers and reduce the age eligibility criteria. As Tax Credits for Workers and Their Families points out, the Aspen Institute report adds to the growing number of calls to expand the EITC to workers without dependent children.

The Ongoing Latinx Wealth Gap
A Center for American Progress Report takes a closer look at the large wealth disparity between Latinx and white households. Despite similar employment rates, the median wealth of Latinx workers is only 14.6 percent of the median wealth of white households. The report attributes the gap to a number of factors including Latinx communities’ relationship with the labor market - an overrepresentation in sectors with low-pay and fewer benefits - as well as other systemic obstacles to building wealth.
Access the full report: When a Job is Not Enough: The Latinx-White Wealth Gap (Center for American Progress, December 2018)
Upcoming Partner Events
Webinar: 'Empowerment Economics' -
Innovations in Native and Immigrant Approaches to Assets

March 12, 2019
1:30-3:00 PM EST

In this webinar, practitioners and researchers will highlight innovative approaches to asset building in native and immigrant communities and discuss what funders can do to improve economic security, opportunity, and empowerment by supporting and engaging with low-income communities of color.

Speakers Include:

  • Cristina Aguilera (Sillerman Center) on wealth building pathways for immigrants and refugees on community innovations and alternative strategies to wealth building, and empowerment economics
  • Lahela Williams (Hawaiian Community Assets); Inhe Choi (HANA Center); and Jessica Santos (IASP) on community innovations and alternative strategies to wealth building, and empowerment economics
  • Christianne Lind (Northwest Area Foundation) on opportunities and lessons for funders to advance native innovations in wealth building
Accelerating Ideas into Action -
AFN's Biennial Grantmaker Conference

May 7-9, 2019
San Antonio, TX

AFN’s biennial conference, Accelerating Ideas into Action, takes place May 7-9, 2019 at the historic St. Anthony Hotel in San Antonio. Accelerating Ideas Into Action brings together a diverse group of national, regional and community-based funders concerned about a common goal – advancing economic opportunity and prosperity for low and moderate income people through philanthropy.  
GIH logo
Grantmakers In Health Annual Conference on Health Philanthropy

June 12-14, 2019
Seattle, Washington

The Grantmakers In Health Annual Conference on Health Philanthropy is the largest annual gathering of health funders in the country, and the best place to learn from seasoned experts and philanthropic leadership and exchange information, ideas, and insights with colleagues.
See you in Seattle!

We are thrilled to announce that the EITC Funders Network will be organizing a breakout session - Health Equity and the Earned Income Tax Credit - at the GIH Annual Conference on Health Philanthropy on June 13, 2019. We hope to see you there!

ICYMI: Recent Network Events
EITC Funders Network Webinar:
EITC Policy: Looking Back, Looking Ahead
The EITC Funders Network Annual Policy Webinar
February 2019

Southeastern Council on Foundations, EOF, EITC Funders Network Webinar:
Creating Impact in the South: The EITC Policy Development Fund
December 2018

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 Piton Foundation
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation