See this report on expansions of the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit as enacted under the American Rescue Plan.

House COVID Relief Bill Includes Critical Expansions of Child Tax Credit and EITC

Two key tax credit provisions in the COVID relief legislation that the House passed February 27 would provide significant help to those on the fault lines of some of the pandemic’s worst economic effects. People who have lower incomes, are Black or Latino, have less than a college education, or work in face-to-face service occupations have long faced barriers to high-paying jobs and opportunity, which the pandemic and its economic fallout have widened. The House bill’s provisions making the full Child Tax Credit available to all children except those with the highest incomes (sometimes called making the credit “fully refundable”), and making an expanded Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) available to far more low-paid workers not raising children in the home (so-called “childless workers”), would result in historic reductions of child poverty and provide timely income support for millions of people, including millions of essential workers.

"The House bill’s provisions would result in historic reductions of child poverty and provide timely income support for millions of people, including millions of essential workers."

The current Child Tax Credit and EITC together lift more children above the poverty line, 5.5 million, than any other economic support program.[1] This level of poverty reduction was achieved through multiple expansions of the EITC and Child Tax Credit since their respective enactments in 1975 and 1997. The House’s proposal — with one significant change to the Child Tax Credit — would lift another 4.1 million children above the poverty line, cutting the remaining number of children in poverty by more than 40 percent. Permanently enacting this historic proposal — along with the EITC provision which would stop the federal tax code from taxing millions of workers without children into or deeper into poverty — would be a landmark achievement and should be an urgent priority once this temporary legislation is enacted.

These expansions will help many hard hit by the current crisis. Many in essential jobs have faced a higher risk of infection and death due to their jobs, while many others lost their jobs or saw their incomes fall due to pandemic-related closures or reduced hours. Jobs in low-paying industries were down more than twice as much between February 2020 and January 2021 as jobs in medium-wage industries and nearly four times as much as in high-wage industries.[2] Due to employment discrimination and unequal opportunity in education and housing, among other factors, gaps in unemployment between Black and Hispanic workers on one hand and white workers on the other widen quickly in recessions and narrow much more slowly after an economic recovery begins. Today the Black unemployment rate remains at 9.2 percent and the Hispanic rate at 8.6 percent, while the white unemployment rate has fallen back to 5.7 percent.[3]

The two tax credit expansions, in legislation that the House approved February 27, would do much to alleviate these harmful effects. They would:

Make the full Child Tax Credit available to all children except those with the highest incomes. Some 27 million children — including roughly half of all Black and Latino children and a similar share of rural children — receive less than the current maximum $2,000-per-child tax credit because their parents earn too little, even as middle- and higher-income families get the full amount. The proposal would make the full Child Tax Credit available to children in families with low earnings or that lack earnings in a year, and it would increase the credit’s maximum amount to $3,000 per child and $3,600 for children under age 6. It would also extend the credit to 17-year-olds. The increase in the maximum amount would begin to phase out for heads of households making $112,500 and married couples making $150,000. The proposal would lift 4.1 million children above the poverty line — cutting the number of children in poverty by more than 40 percent. The proposal also would lift 1.1 million children above half the poverty line (referred to as “deep poverty”). Black and Latino children in particular, whom the current credit disproportionately leaves out or leaves behind, would benefit.

Make an overdue EITC increase for low-paid working adults not raising children in the home. The EITC is a powerful wage subsidy with a glaring flaw: it largely excludes so-called “childless adults,” providing only a tiny credit to a very small number of these workers. The House’s relief bill would fix this flaw at a critical time by raising the maximum EITC for workers without children from roughly $530 to roughly $1,500, and the income cap for these adults to qualify from about $16,000 to at least $21,000. It also would expand the age range of eligible workers without children to include younger adults aged 19-24 who aren’t full-time students, as well as people aged 65 and over. This would provide timely income support to over 17 million people who do important work for low pay, including the 5.8 million people who are currently the lone group that the federal tax code taxes into, or deeper into, poverty, in large part because their EITC is too low.

Expanded Child Tax Credit Would Cause Historic Reduction in Child Poverty

Low-income children, disproportionately children of color, have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic and its related economic and educational harms. Between 9 and 12 million children live in a household where the children didn’t eat enough because the household couldn’t afford it, according to the most recent Census data.[4] Many of these same children also have a higher risk of losing school instruction time due to the pandemic; “[l]earning loss will probably be greatest among low-income, black, and Hispanic students,” one analysis found.[5]

Raising the incomes of children growing up in poverty through policies such as the Child Tax Credit can make an important difference in children’s lives now and in the long term, a congressionally chartered report issued in 2019 by a National Academy of Sciences’ (NAS) panel on child poverty explained. “The weight of the causal evidence does indeed indicate that income poverty itself causes negative child outcomes, especially when poverty occurs in early childhood or persists throughout a large portion of childhood,” concluded the panel. The better outcomes that are linked with stronger income assistance include healthier birthweights, lower maternal stress (measured by reduced stress hormone levels in the bloodstream), better childhood nutrition, higher school enrollment, higher reading and math test scores, higher high school graduation rates, less use of drugs and alcohol, and higher rates of college entry. The NAS panel devised two packages of policy proposals aimed at cutting child poverty in half, one of which included as a centerpiece a $2,700-per-child “child allowance” that is very similar to the expanded Child Tax Credit proposal under consideration.[6] (The NAS plan included several other substantial components, including an EITC expansion, that taken together are larger than the current Child Tax Credit proposal.)

The House plan’s Child Tax Credit expansion would deliver significant additional income to low-income children and their families. It would make the full credit available to 27 million children[7] — including roughly half of all Black and Latino children and a similar share of children who live in rural areas — whose families now don’t get the full credit because their parents lack earnings or have earnings that are too low.[8] (See Appendix Table 1 for estimates by state). Of these 27 million children, an estimated 9.9 million are Latino, 5.7 million are Black, and 814,000 are Asian American. (See Appendix Table 2 for state-specific estimates by race/ethnicity.)

Among the 4.1 million children whom the expansion would lift above the poverty line, 1.2 million are Black and 1.7 million are Latino. Of the 9.9 million children it would lift above or closer to the poverty line, 2.3 million are Black, 4.1 million are Latino, and 441,000 are Asian American.[9]

To see what this can mean to individual families, consider these examples:

  • A single mother of a toddler, who earns $10,000 a year providing in-home care to older people (with work hours that fluctuate significantly from month to month), now receives a Child Tax Credit of $1,125. Under the House plan, she’d receive $3,600, a gain of $2,475.
  • A single mother with a 4-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son, who is out of work for the year due to a health condition, now receives no Child Tax Credit at all, adding to the family’s financial insecurity. Under the House plan, she would receive the full Child Tax Credit of $3,600 for her daughter and $3,000 for her son to help with the children’s expenses.

A married couple in which one spouse earns $20,000 as a short-order cook and the other cares for their 3-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter now receives a credit of $2,625 — well below the $4,000 credit that a higher-income family with two children receive. Under the House plan, they would receive the full Child Tax Credit of $3,600 for their son and $3,000 for their daughter, or a family gain of $3,975.

The Child Tax Credit expansion would provide important help to people in a myriad of jobs that pay little and often have fluctuating schedules, including people caring for the elderly, driving buses, cooking and serving meals, and doing many other kinds of important work. (See Table 1.) These occupations are also not conducive to remote work, raising people’s risk of infection during the current crisis.

An estimated 65.7 million children would receive a larger Child Tax Credit under the expansion, delivering economic support to large numbers of children in every state, including 17.5 million Latino children, 9.4 million Black children, and 2.8 million Asian American children.[10] (See Appendix Table 3.)

TABLE 1
People in Selected Essential Occupations Who Would Benefit From the House’s Child Tax Credit Expansion
Occupation Number of workers who would gain Workers who would gain as a share of all workers aged 18 and older in occupation
Truck and delivery drivers 1,069,000 27%
Cashiers 1,048,000 30%
First-line supervisors/managers of retail sales workers 995,000 29%
Nursing, psychiatric, and home health aides 801,000 35%
Janitors and building cleaners 682,000 27%
Cooks 661,000 29%
Personal and home care aides 497,000 31%
Child care workers 474,000 36%
Miscellaneous agricultural workers 381,000 38%
Food preparation workers 315,000 28%
Medical assistants 292,000 46%
Health practitioner support technicians 219,000 31%
Bus drivers 186,000 29%
Hand packers and packagers 173,000 26%
First-line supervisors/managers of food preparation and serving workers 164,000 26%
All occupations 46,822,000 28%

Source: Preliminary CBPP estimates based on U.S. Census Bureau’s March 2019 Current Population Survey, using 2020 tax parameters and incomes adjusted for inflation to 2020 dollars.

Protect Families With Low Incomes From Repaying Large Amounts They Receive in Advance

The House proposal would provide families with advance payments of their Child Tax Credit for tax year 2021. Between July and December 2021, these advance payments would be provided monthly (or perhaps less frequently, if the IRS has implementation challenges) to the tax filer who claimed the child on a previous year tax return (2020 or, if not available, 2019).

One drawback to providing families with advance payments of their Child Tax Credit is that when tax filers submit their tax return for the year in which they received advance payments, they could end up ineligible for those payments. While changes in income could affect the amount of the credit someone is eligible for, the more significant issue will arise when a child who lived with the tax filer in the prior year does not live with that same tax filer in the year for which the advance payments were made. For example, a child’s father may have claimed the child in the prior year (2020) but the child may live with her mother in 2021. In this case, the father may receive advance payments for the 2021 Child Tax Credit but then learn that he is ineligible for the tax credit when he files his 2021 tax return because the child did not live with him this year. Without appropriate safeguards, low-income tax filers in this situation could owe large amounts to the IRS to repay the federal government for advance payments they received.

More than 3 million children in any given year live with a different adult than they lived with the prior year, we estimate using longitudinal Census data, and a large share have modest incomes.a The House bill has created some important safeguards to protect these low-income tax filers who receive advance payments and are later found ineligible, limiting the extent to which they will have to repay the federal government. Under the legislation, single individuals with incomes below $40,000, heads of households with incomes below $50,000, and married couples with incomes below $60,000 would not have to repay amounts received in advance. And for those with incomes above these thresholds, the amount they have to repay would phase in, though the repayments could be significant for some households. A single individual with income of $55,000 who received $1,500 in advance payments for a child who no longer lives with them would owe back $250, and if the tax filer’s income were $60,000, they would owe back $500. (A tax filer would owe these amounts back to the IRS even if they spent the advance payment toward care for the child.) These safeguards will mean that a large share of those who would be at risk for owing money back will either not be required to repay the advance payments or will only have to repay a partial amount.

The bill also provides a mechanism for families to opt out of the advance payment, but it is likely that many tax filers will not understand the provision or mechanism for opting out well enough to know if they should exercise this option.

For a temporary provision that the federal government must implement quickly, it is arguable that repayment should not be required at all. Both rounds of stimulus payments took this approach — the payments were based on prior-year information and if a tax filer received more than they would have based on their current circumstances, they were not required to repay the amounts. In a temporary provision where advance payments are sent automatically, families are unlikely to understand that such a credit is an advance on their tax return, and they may owe money back upon filing their taxes next year.

If repayment is required, the safeguards that the bill put in place are a good start. They could be strengthened by phasing in repayment more slowly and not requiring repayment if the child lived with the tax filer for part of the year (but less than the six months required to be eligible for the credit).

Most importantly, in a permanently expanded Child Tax Credit that allows advance payments, further steps will be needed to reduce the number of people who receive advance payments and then are found ineligible for the credit and to ensure that those who are in this situation are not asked to repay amounts they cannot afford.

a CBPP calculation based on Census’ Survey of Income and Program Participation data for children who changed parents between 2013 and 2014.

A Meaningful EITC for Workers Without Children

The House plan would expand the EITC for over 17 million adults not raising children at home who work hard at important, but low-paid, jobs. The EITC is a highly successful wage subsidy that’s earned bipartisan support over the years, but the current credit largely excludes adults who aren’t raising children in their homes, and it completely excludes young workers without children trying to gain a toehold in the labor market.

Adults not raising children are the lone group that the federal tax code actually taxes into, or deeper into, poverty, partly because their EITC is so meager. Some 5.8 million workers aged 19-65 without children — including 1.5 million Latino and over 1 million Black workers — are taxed into or deeper into poverty.[11]

For workers without children, the proposal would raise the maximum EITC from roughly $530 to roughly $1,500 and raise the income limit to qualify from about $16,000 to at least $21,000.[12] It also would expand the age range of workers without children eligible for the tax credit to include younger adults aged 19-24 who aren’t full-time students, as well as people 65 and over.

To see how this would benefit these workers, consider a 25-year-old single woman who works roughly 30 hours a week throughout the year as a cashier at a convenience store and earns about $9 an hour. Her annual earnings of $13,700 are just above the poverty line of $13,621 for a single individual. But federal taxes push her into poverty:

  • Some $1,048 — 7.65 percent of her earnings — is withheld from her paychecks for Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes.
  • When filing income taxes, she can claim the $12,400 standard deduction, which leaves her with $1,300 in taxable income. Since she is in the 10 percent tax bracket, she owes $130 in federal income tax.
  • Thus, her combined federal income and payroll tax liability, not counting the EITC, is $1,178. She gets a small EITC of $160, so her net federal income and payroll tax liability is $1,018.
  • In other words, her earnings were just above the poverty line, but federal taxes push her income about $940 below the poverty line.
  • Under the House plan, her EITC would grow to $1,116, raising her income after federal income and payroll taxes to $29 above the poverty line.

All told, the House proposal would benefit 17.3 million workers without children across the country, including roughly 2.8 million Black, 2.8 million Latino, and 678,000 Asian American workers.[13] (See Appendix Table 4 for estimates by state and by race/ethnicity.)

The top occupations that would benefit include cashiers, food preparers and servers, and home health aides. (See Table 2.) The pandemic has helped the nation better understand and appreciate these workers and millions of others who work for low pay and the essential role they play in keeping this economy running, even while they often lack benefits that many other workers take for granted, such as paid sick days. They deserve more than the meager EITC in current law, and the House’s relief proposal would provide concrete, meaningful help.

TABLE 2
Workers Without Children in Selected Essential Occupations Who Would Benefit From the House’s EITC Expansion
Occupation Number of workers who would gain Workers who would gain as a share of all workers aged 19 and older in occupation
Cashiers 1,074,000 33%
Retail salespersons 670,000 20%
Cooks 658,000 30%
Janitors and building cleaners 529,000 21%
Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, by hand 526,000 23%
Personal and home care aides 472,000 30%
Truck and delivery drivers 411,000 10%
Nursing, psychiatric, and home health aides 386,000 17%
Stock clerks and order fillers 383,000 26%
Food preparation workers 312,000 30%
Child care workers 304,000 24%
First-line supervisors/managers of retail sales workers 258,000 7%
Hand packers and packagers 202,000 31%
Miscellaneous agricultural workers 178,000 18%
Dishwashers 105,000 51%
Bus drivers 71,000 11%
All occupations 17,271,000 11%

Note: Workers without children counted as benefiting from the House EITC expansion are those aged 19 and older (excluding full-time students 19-24).

Source: CBPP estimates based on U.S. Census Bureau’s March 2019 Current Population Survey.

Appendix

APPENDIX TABLE 1
Estimated Number of Children Who Would Benefit From House Child Tax Credit Expansion, by State
State Children under 17 left out of the full $2,000 Child Tax Credit who would benefit from expansion Children under 18 lifted above the poverty line by expansion Children under 18 lifted above or closer to the poverty line by expansion Children under 18 who would benefit from expansion Share of children under 18 who would benefit from expansion
Total U.S. 27,000,000 4,140,000 9,894,000 65,694,000 90%
Alabama 479,000 80,000 162,000 1,021,000 94%
Alaska 52,000 12,000 21,000 167,000 91%
Arizona 690,000 112,000 238,000 1,508,000 93%
Arkansas 324,000 48,000 94,000 661,000 94%
California 3,527,000 553,000 1,689,000 7,865,000 88%
Colorado 345,000 57,000 132,000 1,109,000 89%
Connecticut 199,000 29,000 79,000 608,000 83%
Delaware 67,000 10,000 24,000 183,000 90%
District of Columbia 52,000 8,000 25,000 94,000 76%
Florida 1,733,000 272,000 698,000 3,837,000 92%
Georgia 1,042,000 171,000 354,000 2,274,000 91%
Hawai’i 92,000 14,000 43,000 278,000 92%
Idaho 154,000 17,000 37,000 410,000 94%
Illinois 986,000 153,000 338,000 2,543,000 89%
Indiana 556,000 80,000 175,000 1,453,000 93%
Iowa 198,000 25,000 48,000 669,000 93%
Kansas 219,000 29,000 57,000 652,000 93%
Kentucky 421,000 69,000 143,000 931,000 93%
Louisiana 529,000 94,000 188,000 1,028,000 94%
Maine 75,000 10,000 21,000 229,000 91%
Maryland 353,000 52,000 158,000 1,125,000 85%
Massachusetts 355,000 55,000 161,000 1,105,000 81%
Michigan 810,000 117,000 249,000 1,970,000 92%
Minnesota 321,000 44,000 85,000 1,126,000 88%
Mississippi 350,000 57,000 116,000 677,000 96%
Missouri 505,000 73,000 153,000 1,262,000 92%
Montana 78,000 10,000 21,000 210,000 93%
Nebraska 141,000 18,000 36,000 434,000 93%
Nevada 272,000 40,000 86,000 634,000 94%
New Hampshire 52,000 8,000 20,000 222,000 87%
New Jersey 560,000 89,000 257,000 1,608,000 82%
New Mexico 244,000 32,000 71,000 454,000 95%
New York 1,546,000 242,000 680,000 3,564,000 87%
North Carolina 924,000 137,000 307,000 2,088,000 92%
North Dakota 40,000 4,000 10,000 157,000 92%
Ohio 948,000 132,000 278,000 2,372,000 92%
Oklahoma 398,000 63,000 113,000 895,000 94%
Oregon 292,000 40,000 92,000 779,000 90%
Pennsylvania 892,000 140,000 311,000 2,368,000 90%
Rhode Island 67,000 8,000 23,000 185,000 91%
South Carolina 475,000 68,000 151,000 1,025,000 94%
South Dakota 67,000 10,000 19,000 197,000 93%
Tennessee 633,000 95,000 212,000 1,394,000 93%
Texas 3,091,000 503,000 1,079,000 6,696,000 92%
Utah 235,000 32,000 69,000 860,000 94%
Vermont 30,000 4,000 8,000 105,000 91%
Virginia 530,000 85,000 249,000 1,591,000 86%
Washington 478,000 66,000 159,000 1,437,000 88%
West Virginia 169,000 23,000 50,000 346,000 94%
Wisconsin 368,000 46,000 94,000 1,159,000 92%
Wyoming 35,000 3,000 11,000 128,000 95%

Notes: Based on economy as of 2016-2018 using tax year 2020 tax rules and incomes adjusted for inflation to 2020 dollars. Children left out receive less than full $2,000 per child because their parents lack earnings or have earnings that are too low.

Source: For children left out of the full $2,000 Child Tax Credit, Tax Policy Center national estimate allocated by state based on CBPP analysis of American Community Survey (ACS) data for 2016-2018. For remaining columns, preliminary CBPP analysis of the March 2019 Current Population Survey (national estimate) allocated by state based on CBPP analysis of ACS data for 2016-2018. Poverty calculations also use U.S. Census Bureau Supplemental Poverty Measure research files for the ACS.

APPENDIX TABLE 2
Estimated Children Under 17 Left Out of the Full $2,000 Child Tax Credit, by State and by Race/Ethnicity
State Total White Black Latino Asian Another race or multiple races
Total U.S. 27,000,000 8,781,000 5,716,000 9,910,000 814,000 1,779,000
Alabama 479,000 180,000 219,000 55,000 N/A 22,000
Alaska 52,000 15,000 N/A N/A N/A 26,000
Arizona 690,000 154,000 39,000 404,000 8,000 84,000
Arkansas 324,000 158,000 87,000 55,000 N/A 22,000
California 3,527,000 450,000 226,000 2,484,000 222,000 145,000
Colorado 345,000 121,000 19,000 176,000 8,000 22,000
Connecticut 199,000 53,000 37,000 92,000 N/A 11,000
Delaware 67,000 19,000 26,000 17,000 N/A N/A
District of Columbia 52,000 N/A 42,000 N/A N/A N/A
Florida 1,733,000 467,000 498,000 658,000 26,000 84,000
Georgia 1,042,000 274,000 470,000 221,000 21,000 56,000
Hawai’i 92,000 N/A N/A 20,000 15,000 47,000
Idaho 154,000 96,000 N/A 46,000 N/A 10,000
Illinois 986,000 298,000 263,000 355,000 26,000 44,000
Indiana 556,000 307,000 107,000 95,000 11,000 36,000
Iowa 198,000 121,000 24,000 32,000 N/A 17,000
Kansas 219,000 107,000 23,000 65,000 N/A 20,000
Kentucky 421,000 292,000 59,000 37,000 N/A 27,000
Louisiana 529,000 160,000 294,000 42,000 N/A 28,000
Maine 75,000 62,000 N/A N/A N/A 6,000
Maryland 353,000 82,000 148,000 85,000 13,000 24,000
Massachusetts 355,000 118,000 50,000 144,000 21,000 22,000
Michigan 810,000 408,000 230,000 97,000 16,000 59,000
Minnesota 321,000 133,000 73,000 56,000 23,000 36,000
Mississippi 350,000 104,000 213,000 17,000 N/A 15,000
Missouri 505,000 299,000 112,000 46,000 N/A 43,000
Montana 78,000 51,000 N/A N/A N/A 21,000
Nebraska 141,000 66,000 13,000 46,000 N/A 11,000
Nevada 272,000 53,000 42,000 143,000 N/A 23,000
New Hampshire 52,000 40,000 N/A N/A N/A N/A
New Jersey 560,000 144,000 121,000 251,000 23,000 21,000
New Mexico 244,000 33,000 N/A 165,000 N/A 42,000
New York 1,546,000 470,000 314,000 570,000 123,000 68,000
North Carolina 924,000 300,000 299,000 241,000 18,000 66,000
North Dakota 40,000 20,000 N/A N/A N/A 12,000
Ohio 948,000 512,000 247,000 91,000 N/A 87,000
Oklahoma 398,000 153,000 52,000 100,000 N/A 90,000
Oregon 292,000 146,000 N/A 103,000 N/A 25,000
Pennsylvania 892,000 428,000 195,000 190,000 24,000 53,000
Rhode Island 67,000 23,000 N/A 30,000 N/A N/A
South Carolina 475,000 156,000 220,000 65,000 N/A 29,000
South Dakota 67,000 28,000 N/A N/A N/A 29,000
Tennessee 633,000 313,000 187,000 93,000 N/A 33,000
Texas 3,091,000 478,000 432,000 2,042,000 60,000 79,000
Utah 235,000 131,000 N/A 75,000 N/A 19,000
Vermont 30,000 26,000 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Virginia 530,000 194,000 178,000 103,000 17,000 39,000
Washington 478,000 191,000 32,000 174,000 20,000 61,000
West Virginia 169,000 144,000 N/A N/A N/A 12,000
Wisconsin 368,000 172,000 73,000 76,000 13,000 34,000
Wyoming 35,000 22,000 N/A N/A N/A N/A

Notes: Figures are rounded to the nearest 1,000 and may not sum to totals due to rounding. N/A indicates reliable data are not available due to small sample size. Based on economy as of 2016-2018 using tax year 2020 tax rules and incomes adjusted for inflation to 2020 dollars. Children left out receive less than full $2,000 per child because their parents lack earnings or have earnings that are too low. Racial and ethnic categories do not overlap. Figures for each racial group such as Black, white, or Asian do not include individuals who identify as multiracial or people of Latino ethnicity. Latino includes all people of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin regardless of race.

Source: Tax Policy Center national estimate allocated by state and by race or ethnicity based on CBPP analysis of American Community Survey (ACS) data for 2016-2018.

APPENDIX TABLE 3  
Estimated Number of Children Under 18 Who Would Benefit from House Child Tax Credit Expansion, by State and by Race/Ethnicity  
State Total White Black Latino Asian Another race or multiple races
Total U.S. 65,694,000 32,029,000 9,374,000 17,543,000 2,776,000 3,972,000
Alabama 1,021,000 576,000 316,000 78,000 12,000 39,000
Alaska 167,000 79,000 N/A 16,000 N/A 59,000
Arizona 1,508,000 564,000 69,000 695,000 34,000 147,000
Arkansas 661,000 412,000 119,000 84,000 8,000 38,000
California 7,865,000 1,769,000 411,000 4,470,000 778,000 437,000
Colorado 1,109,000 595,000 48,000 376,000 31,000 59,000
Connecticut 608,000 308,000 77,000 166,000 24,000 32,000
Delaware 183,000 88,000 47,000 30,000 6,000 11,000
District of Columbia 94,000 10,000 63,000 15,000 N/A N/A
Florida 3,837,000 1,539,000 789,000 1,227,000 88,000 193,000
Georgia 2,274,000 947,000 790,000 349,000 74,000 115,000
Hawai’i 278,000 36,000 N/A 53,000 66,000 120,000
Idaho 410,000 307,000 N/A 77,000 N/A 19,000
Illinois 2,543,000 1,238,000 410,000 682,000 106,000 107,000
Indiana 1,453,000 1,026,000 163,000 165,000 27,000 71,000
Iowa 669,000 520,000 31,000 69,000 16,000 33,000
Kansas 652,000 427,000 39,000 125,000 15,000 46,000
Kentucky 931,000 728,000 86,000 57,000 14,000 47,000
Louisiana 1,028,000 504,000 391,000 71,000 13,000 50,000
Maine 229,000 202,000 7,000 7,000 N/A 12,000
Maryland 1,125,000 434,000 373,000 188,000 57,000 73,000
Massachusetts 1,105,000 634,000 109,000 236,000 64,000 62,000
Michigan 1,970,000 1,301,000 328,000 168,000 53,000 119,000
Minnesota 1,126,000 764,000 115,000 103,000 62,000 82,000
Mississippi 677,000 324,000 295,000 29,000 6,000 23,000
Missouri 1,262,000 906,000 172,000 86,000 20,000 78,000
Montana 210,000 164,000 N/A 12,000 N/A 33,000
Nebraska 434,000 298,000 23,000 79,000 11,000 24,000
Nevada 634,000 213,000 63,000 270,000 35,000 53,000
New Hampshire 222,000 189,000 N/A 15,000 6,000 8,000
New Jersey 1,608,000 688,000 241,000 487,000 125,000 66,000
New Mexico 454,000 102,000 N/A 281,000 5,000 61,000
New York 3,564,000 1,600,000 583,000 954,000 266,000 161,000
North Carolina 2,088,000 1,049,000 487,000 354,000 56,000 142,000
North Dakota 157,000 122,000 N/A 8,000 N/A 20,000
Ohio 2,372,000 1,678,000 355,000 146,000 44,000 148,000
Oklahoma 895,000 465,000 72,000 157,000 15,000 185,000
Oregon 779,000 485,000 17,000 185,000 28,000 64,000
Pennsylvania 2,368,000 1,555,000 319,000 302,000 76,000 116,000
Rhode Island 185,000 103,000 14,000 50,000 6,000 12,000
South Carolina 1,025,000 543,000 318,000 96,000 14,000 54,000
South Dakota 197,000 141,000 6,000 11,000 N/A 37,000
Tennessee 1,394,000 895,000 274,000 136,000 24,000 66,000
Texas 6,696,000 1,947,000 804,000 3,486,000 243,000 216,000
Utah 860,000 630,000 10,000 156,000 13,000 50,000
Vermont 105,000 95,000 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Virginia 1,591,000 822,000 336,000 230,000 84,000 119,000
Washington 1,437,000 795,000 59,000 332,000 86,000 165,000
West Virginia 346,000 307,000 13,000 8,000 N/A 17,000
Wisconsin 1,159,000 809,000 104,000 143,000 37,000 67,000
Wyoming 128,000 99,000 N/A 19,000 N/A 9,000

Notes: Figures are rounded to the nearest 1,000 and may not sum to totals due to rounding. N/A indicates reliable data are not available due to small sample size. Based on economy as of 2016-2018 using tax year 2020 tax rules and incomes adjusted for inflation to 2020 dollars. Racial and ethnic categories do not overlap. Figures for each racial group such as Black, white, or Asian do not include individuals who identify as multiracial or people of Latino ethnicity. Latino includes all people of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin regardless of race.

Source: Preliminary CBPP analysis of the March 2019 Current Population Survey (national estimate) allocated by state and by race or ethnicity based on CBPP analysis of American Community Survey (ACS) data for 2016-2018.

APPENDIX TABLE 4
Estimated Number of Workers Without Children Who Would Benefit From House EITC Expansion, by State and by Race/Ethnicity
State Total White Black Latino Asian Another race or multiple races
Total U.S. 17,271,000 10,365,000 2,843,000 2,775,000 678,000 610,000
Alabama 287,000 169,000 98,000 N/A N/A N/A
Alaska 41,000 22,000 N/A N/A N/A 12,000
Arizona 379,000 212,000 23,000 110,000 9,000 26,000
Arkansas 183,000 129,000 37,000 N/A N/A N/A
California 1,840,000 707,000 144,000 698,000 216,000 76,000
Colorado 298,000 212,000 15,000 54,000 7,000 10,000
Connecticut 154,000 94,000 22,000 28,000 N/A N/A
Delaware 48,000 28,000 14,000 N/A N/A N/A
District of Columbia 33,000 9,000 18,000 N/A N/A N/A
Florida 1,303,000 674,000 228,000 345,000 25,000 30,000
Georgia 569,000 280,000 227,000 34,000 15,000 13,000
Hawai’i 69,000 18,000 N/A 7,000 21,000 21,000
Idaho 109,000 92,000 N/A 12,000 N/A N/A
Illinois 616,000 373,000 121,000 85,000 24,000 13,000
Indiana 382,000 295,000 50,000 19,000 N/A 11,000
Iowa 181,000 159,000 9,000 N/A N/A N/A
Kansas 168,000 127,000 17,000 15,000 N/A N/A
Kentucky 271,000 222,000 32,000 8,000 N/A N/A
Louisiana 296,000 149,000 125,000 12,000 4,000 N/A
Maine 93,000 87,000 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Maryland 255,000 124,000 89,000 21,000 13,000 7,000
Massachusetts 292,000 208,000 24,000 36,000 16,000 8,000
Michigan 600,000 437,000 105,000 28,000 12,000 19,000
Minnesota 288,000 228,000 22,000 14,000 11,000 13,000
Mississippi 176,000 85,000 82,000 N/A N/A N/A
Missouri 360,000 277,000 54,000 14,000 6,000 N/A
Montana 84,000 73,000 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Nebraska 104,000 82,000 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Nevada 168,000 84,000 21,000 41,000 13,000 10,000
New Hampshire 70,000 65,000 N/A N/A N/A N/A
New Jersey 354,000 179,000 69,000 75,000 22,000 9,000
New Mexico 134,000 53,000 N/A 61,000 N/A 14,000
New York 910,000 490,000 152,000 172,000 71,000 25,000
North Carolina 601,000 361,000 173,000 34,000 12,000 21,000
North Dakota 41,000 31,000 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Ohio 691,000 512,000 126,000 25,000 10,000 19,000
Oklahoma 236,000 153,000 27,000 19,000 N/A 34,000
Oregon 263,000 207,000 N/A 28,000 9,000 13,000
Pennsylvania 697,000 514,000 98,000 53,000 17,000 14,000
Rhode Island 48,000 35,000 N/A N/A N/A N/A
South Carolina 315,000 178,000 113,000 12,000 N/A 8,000
South Dakota 53,000 40,000 N/A N/A N/A 9,000
Tennessee 395,000 284,000 85,000 13,000 N/A N/A
Texas 1,396,000 572,000 221,000 528,000 45,000 30,000
Utah 138,000 109,000 N/A 19,000 N/A N/A
Vermont 40,000 37,000 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Virginia 417,000 246,000 111,000 27,000 18,000 14,000
Washington 358,000 252,000 19,000 39,000 20,000 27,000
West Virginia 110,000 98,000 8,000 N/A N/A N/A
Wisconsin 320,000 260,000 30,000 15,000 N/A 10,000
Wyoming 38,000 33,000 N/A N/A N/A N/A

Note: Figures are rounded to the nearest 1,000 and may not sum to totals due to rounding. N/A indicates reliable data are not available due to small sample size. Based on economy as of 2016-2018 adjusted for inflation. Workers without children who would benefit from the House EITC expansion are those aged 19 and over (excluding full-time students 19-24). Racial and ethnic categories do not overlap. Figures for each racial group such as Black, white, or Asian do not include individuals who identify as multiracial or people of Latino ethnicity. Latino includes all people of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin regardless of race.

Source: CBPP analysis of the March 2019 Current Population Survey (national estimate) allocated by state and by race or ethnicity based on CBPP analysis of American Community Survey (ACS) data for 2016-2018.

End Notes

[1] These credits lifted 5.5 million children above the poverty line in 2018 and 5.1 million children in 2017.

[2] Chad Stone, “Jobs Recovery Still Long Way Off, Especially for Low-Wage Workers and Workers of Color,” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, February 5, 2021, https://www.cbpp.org/blog/jobs-recovery-still-long-way-off-especially-for-low-wage-workers-and-workers-of-color.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “Tracking the COVID-19 Recession’s Effects on Food, Housing, and Employment Hardships,” updated January 28, 2021, https://www.cbpp.org/research/poverty-and-inequality/tracking-the-covid-19-recessions-effects-on-food-housing-and.

[5] Emma Dorn, “COVID-19 and student learning in the United States: The hurt could last a lifetime,” McKinsey & Co., June 1, 2020, https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/public-and-social-sector/our-insights/covid-19-and-student-learning-in-the-united-states-the-hurt-could-last-a-lifetime#.

[6] National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, A Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty, National Academies Press, 2019, https://www.nap.edu/read/25246.

[7] Robert Greenstein et al., “Improving the Child Tax Credit for Very Low–Income Families,” US Partnership on Mobility from Poverty, April 2018, https://www.mobilitypartnership.org/improving-child-tax-credit-very-low-income-families.

[8] Senator Mitt Romney proposed a similar expansion in the Child Tax Credit, making it fully available to all low-income children and increasing the amount from $2,000 to $3,000 for children between ages 6 and 17 and to $4,200 for children under 6. The major differences between the temporary House plan and the permanent Romney plan are that the Romney plan provides the increase to families with much higher incomes, beginning to phase out for married couples making $400,000, and that it pays for the proposal with sharp cuts in other income support programs for low-income families, including a 65 percent cut in the EITC and the elimination of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant. States use TANF to provide income assistance to 1.1 million families with children who have very low incomes and fund a set of other services, including child care, transportation assistance, and services for children at risk of being removed to foster care and their families.

[9] Racial and ethnic categories in this report do not overlap. Unless otherwise noted, figures for each racial group such as Black or Asian American do not include individuals who identify as multiracial or of Latino ethnicity. Latino includes all people of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin regardless of race. Data are not available for people living in the territories.

Figures for children identified as American Indian or Alaska Native (AIAN) are particularly sensitive to definition. Among the roughly 2.0 million children identified as AIAN alone or in combination, regardless of Latino ethnicity, 180,000 would be lifted above the poverty line and 344,000 would be lifted above or closer to the poverty line by the House’s Child Tax Credit expansion. (If we apply the non-overlapping categories this report uses for other groups, only 684,000 children are considered AIAN alone, not Latino; 70,000 of them would be lifted above the poverty line and 111,000 of them would be lifted above or closer to the poverty line by the House’s Child Tax Credit expansion.) Data for children identified as Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander (NHOPI) are not provided due to limited sample size.

These figures are preliminary CBPP estimates based on U.S. Census Bureau’s March 2019 Current Population Survey, using 2020 tax parameters and incomes adjusted for inflation to 2020 dollars. These calculations use the Supplemental Poverty Measure, which counts more forms of income than the “official” poverty measure (among other differences).

[10] Among the roughly 2.0 million children identified as AIAN alone or in combination, regardless of Latino ethnicity, about 1.9 million would benefit from this Child Tax Credit expansion. (If we apply the non-overlapping categories this report uses for other groups, only 684,000 children are considered AIAN alone, not Latino; about 640,000 of them would benefit from this expansion.)

NHOPI estimates are also particularly sensitive to definition. Among the roughly 619,000 children identified as NHOPI alone or in combination, regardless of Latino ethnicity, about 565,000 would benefit. (Data on children identified as NHOPI alone, not Latino, are not provided due to limited sample size.)

Preliminary CBPP analysis of March 2019 Current Population Survey, using 2020 tax parameters and incomes adjusted for inflation to 2020 dollars.

[11] CBPP estimates based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s March 2019 Current Population Survey, using 2020 tax parameters and incomes adjusted for inflation to 2020 dollars. The estimates count all workers aged 19-65 (excluding full-time students aged 19-23) who are pushed below the Census poverty thresholds— or further below them — by their federal income tax liability (if any) and the employee share of the payroll tax. The estimate excludes full-time students aged 19-23 because, under current law, their parents can claim them as qualifying children for the larger EITC for families with children. Poverty status is determined at the level of the tax filing unit. We use the 2019 Census official poverty threshold appropriate for the tax unit based on the number and age of the tax unit members, inflated to 2020 dollars.

[12] Senator Mitt Romney proposed to significantly reduce the EITC for families with children while expanding the EITC for childless adults. For the latter group, his proposal would raise the maximum EITC from roughly $530 to $1,000 for a single filer and $2,000 for a married couple, and raise the income limit to qualify from about $16,000 to $17,000 for a single filer and from about $22,000 to $34,000 for a married couple. His proposal also increases the phase-in and phase-out rates for the credit.

[13] Among the roughly 1.8 million workers aged 19 and over without children (excluding full-time students aged 19-24) who identify as AIAN alone or in combination, regardless of Latino ethnicity, 480,000 would benefit from the House’s EITC expansion. (If we apply the non-overlapping categories this report uses for other groups, only 676,000 workers aged 19 and over without children, excluding full-time students aged 19-24, identify as AIAN alone, not Latino; 182,000 of them would benefit from the House’s EITC expansion.)

Among the roughly 501,000 workers aged 19 and over without children (excluding full-time students aged 19-24) who identify as NHOPI alone or in combination, regardless of Latino identity, 101,000 would benefit from the House’s EITC expansion. (Data on workers without children who identify as NHOPI alone, not Latino, are not provided due to limited sample size.)

CBPP analysis of March 2019 Current Population Survey.