EITC Funders Network eNewsletter
Issue 49| Dec 2020
A Note from the Coordinator
Dear EITC Funders Network,
What an unpredictable and challenging year 2020 has been for all of us! A pandemic, protests, civil unrest and an election have kept us all asking, “Can this really be happening?” Indeed, it HAS all happened...to all of us, collectively. In time, we will no doubt begin to see the lasting impacts of these challenging times.. As funders, we have an important role to play in recovery and change.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating for millions of individuals and families across the country. It has caused and continues to cause the unemployment of millions of individuals as well as closure of businesses at an alarming rate. Countless families are now facing eviction, food insecurity, the loss of health insurance and other COVID-19 related impacts that puts them in jeopardy of entering poverty or becoming even more impoverished at a time where uncertainty is high and public health is still at risk. 

And while COVID-19 remains a “once in a lifetime” pandemic that surprised many, the fight for racial justice and equality is not new. The fight continues in earnest around the country. As funders, let us not be afraid to play our part in creating change.

Here are some worthwhile reads on how the field is responding to crisis and planning through uncertainty: 
  • Gov. Pritzker of Illinois has launched an outreach effort to increase participation in EITC
  • The University of Missouri received a $1.35 million grant to raise awareness on EITC
  • Here is a new video from The Hatcher Group that providers can use to help explain the EITC

Finally, I am excited to introduce Deneisha Thompson, the newest member of our EITC Funders Network team. After many years of providing direct service to the poorest communities in New York City, Deneisha has spent the past 8 years as a consultant working with communities to build partnerships, capacity and social capital while dismantling oppressive systems that target people living in poverty and BIPOCS. Deneisha will support the important work this Network does to improve policy, increase access and encourage usage of the EITC. She can be reached at deneisha@eitcfunders.org.

Our entire team wishes you health, safety, peace and joy as we end 2020 and embrace the hope and possibilities for our EITC work in 2021.

Onward,

Ami Nagle
Coordinator
EITC Funders Network

January 29, 2021 is
National Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day!

Visit the IRS EITC Awareness Day website for helpful information and resources you can use and share to support EITC awareness and outreach efforts. An updated page for the 2021 tax season will be available soon. In the meantime, take a look at the current toolkit, resource page and marketing and communications tools. Don’t forget to check it again soon for the updated information.


EITC Income Limits Changes
The updated EITC income limits for 2021 have been released to the public. The maximum credits for 2021 are $543 for those with no qualifying children, $3,618 for those with one child, $5,980 if for two children, and $6,728 for those with three or more children. 

Take a look at this USA today article for information you can share with your stakeholders.


In Case You Missed It

Take a look at our last two webinars by clicking on the banners below.
Interview with a Field Leader

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) is a research and policy institute that informs and shapes federal and state policies to reduce poverty, promote equity, and build opportunity.
Robert Greenstein
President

We are thrilled that Bob Greenstein has agreed to be our Interview with a Field Leader featured guest as one of his final acts before retiring at the end of 2020. The entire field owes Bob a huge debt of gratitude for his advocacy, work and leadership on tax policy. In this piece, Bob shares his insights and recommendations for the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

Bob is the founder and President of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. He is considered an expert on the federal budget and a range of domestic policy issues, including anti-poverty programs and various aspects of tax and health care policy. He has written numerous reports, analyses, book chapters, op-ed pieces, and magazine articles on these issues. His work has positively impacted countless families and communities. Bob will be missed tremendously.

We would also like to extend our congratulations to Sharon Parrott as she assumes the role of President. She is currently CBPP’s Senior Vice President for Federal Policy and Program Development and has held several positions at the Center over nearly three decades. We wish her well in her new role.

As 2020 ends and you prepare to retire, what insights and recommendations can you share with the field?

The coming new year, in which we will usher in a new president, brings hope for further important improvements at the federal level in both the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

For policymakers, the top priority should be to make the Child Tax Credit fully refundable so that the poorest families, including those with little or no earnings, can receive the full credit. This is one of the single most important steps that policymakers can take to shrink child poverty. Today, about 27 million low-income children get no credit or only a partial one.

Some leading proposals on Capitol Hill also would boost the size of the CTC from its current $2,000 per child to $3,000, and to $3,600 for young children. Those improvements, too — along with giving families options to get the credit more frequently than on an annual basis and providing the IRS the resources to handle that — would be very welcome, strengthening the CTC for both low-income and more well-off children.

New Research & Resources from the Field
New AEI Report
There is a brand new AEI report on EITC. It finds “robust evidence that four of the five credit expansions increase employment among unmarried mothers. The exception is the 2009 expansion, which was targeted on households of a specific size and occurred during a period of historically weak labor demand following the 2008 financial crisis and Great Recession.” 

This finding supports the important work this network does to raise awareness, expand access and encourage usage of the EITC across the United States.
Key Tax Policy Changes We Could See in a Biden Administration
Planning in a world full of uncertainty is tough. Unfortunately, we will not know the fate of EITC policy in the near future. We do, however, have some hints.

In this article, Tony Nitt, senior contributor at Forbes outlines the key tax changes Americans could see under President-elect Joe Biden’s administration, such as expansions to the value and eligibility of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit (CTC), and Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit.
COVID-19, the Labor Force & Responsive Tax Policy
According to Nikhita Airi, "The coronavirus recession has dealt a devastating blow to millions of US workers with consequences that could persist for years. Increasing income support through the tax code can ensure that low-wage workers are not left behind once the economy regains its footing and temporary relief programs end."

Take a look at her essay for a compelling read on the impacts of COVID-19 on the labor force and how tax policy can respond to the crisis.
EITC Policy Development Fund
Second Cohort Impact Summary

Established in 2015, the EITC Policy Development Fund was developed to provide multi-year support to state-based policy groups laying the groundwork to develop or improve state EITCs. This second cohort impact summary provides an overview of awards in Arkansas and Virginia and offers lessons learned. 

Download the EITC Policy Development Fund Second Cohort Impact Summary.

State & Local Innovations
Advocacy Success in California
ITIN holders are now eligible for CalEITC. “On September 18, Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 1876 into law, making California one of two states (with Colorado) that extended EITC eligibility to people with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). The move came after years of organizing from the CalEITC Coalition and immigrant groups.” 

Congratulations to Golden State Opportunity and community-based groups across California for their advocacy and this win. Review GSO's latest newsletter to learn more about the fantastic work they are doing related to EITC. 


Increasing Access in New Jersey
In September, NJ Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation to lower the age of eligibility for the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) from 25 to 21. The governor's office projects 60,000 additional NJ residents will benefit from this change. 

Find more information about the NJ eligibility requirements here.
Upcoming Field Events
Economic Opportunity Funders Network is hosting a Post-Election Briefing Series

“Assessing the new environment in the aftermath of the elections and identifying new windows of opportunity to work strategically and collaboratively is essential to advancing the work of philanthropy and improving the lives of low-income families, workers and communities.

For more than a decade, EOF (formerly known as GIST) has hosted post-election briefings in partnership with fellow funder affinity groups to help funders better understand the outcomes of the national and state elections and what it suggests in terms of opportunities and challenges for the short-and medium-term.”

Join conversations focused on how philanthropy can best “show up” in this moment. 

Visit the EOF post-election series page for more information.
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 Piton Foundation
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation
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