Fact Sheet: 13 Million Fathers Benefit From Tax Credits for Lower-Income Working Families
Two working-family tax credits — the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) — have proven to be powerful tools for reducing children’s poverty and advancing their long-term well-being. About 13 million fathers in low- and moderate-income working families received either the EITC or the low-income portion of the CTC in 2012. (For data on how the credits help mothers, see “21 Million Mothers Benefit from Tax Credits for Lower-Income Working Families.”)
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) figures show that over 26 million Americans claimed the EITC, including about 20 million filers with children. A mostly overlapping group of 19 million parents claimed the low-income (that is, refundable) CTC. We estimate that about 2 million single fathers and 11 million couples that include a father received one or both credits. Our estimates are based on IRS data, additional state tax information from the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program, and national-level Census data on the gender of tax credit recipients.
The table shows the figures for fathers (married or single) by state. In most states, more than 150,000 fathers received one or both credits. Even the least populous states, such as Vermont and Wyoming, over 18,000 fathers received this help.
Fathers With EITC or Refundable Child Tax Credit,
Fiscal Year 2012
|50 States + DC||12,999,000|
|Dist. of Columbia||15,000|
|Source: CBPP estimates based on data from IRS, unpublished data from the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, and CBPP analysis of the Census Bureau’s March 2010-March2014 Current Population Survey.|
 Chuck Marr et al., “EITC and Child Tax Credit Promote Work, Reduce Poverty, and Support Children’s Development, Research Finds,” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, revised April 3, 2015, https://www.cbpp.org/research/eitc-and-child-tax-credit-promote-work-reduce-poverty-and-support-childrens-development.
 These figures treat same-sex married couples as unmarried for tax purposes because the Census Bureau’s 2013 tax model, which these calculations rely on, had not yet incorporated recent Supreme Court and IRS rulings allowing legally married same-sex couples to file together.