Tax Credits for Lower-Income Working Families Help 21 Million Mothers
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 21 million mothers in low- and moderate-income working families received either the EITC or the low-income portion of the CTC in 2010.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) figures show that over 27 million Americans claimed the EITC, including about 21 million filers with children. Similarly, a mostly-overlapping group of 21 million parents claimed the low-income (that is, refundable) CTC.
Using 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, we estimate that about 10 million single mothers and 11 million couples — a mother and a father — received either or both credits, as did 2 million single fathers.
The table shows the figures for mothers (married plus single) by state. The figures show that in most states, more than 100,000 mothers received one or both credits, while in even the least populous states, such as Vermont and Wyoming, over 25,000 mothers received this help.
|Mothers with EITC or Refundable Child Tax Credit FY2010|
|50 States + DC||21,000,000|
|Dist. of Columbia||36,000|
|Source: CBPP estimates based on data from IRS, unpublished data from the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, and CBPP analysis of the March 2012 Current Population Survey. The figures assume that among filers with children who claim either the EITC or the refundable CTC, the share that contain a married or single mother (about 90 percent) is the same in every state as it is nationwide, while the other 10 percent of EITC and refundable CTC filers with children consists of single fathers. A Center analysis of three years of merged Census data found no statistically significant state-to-state differences in this share.|
 Chuck Marr, Jimmy Charite, and Chye-Ching Huang, “Earned Income Tax Credit Promotes Work, Encourages Children’s Success at School, Research Finds,” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, revised April 9, 2013, at https://www.cbpp.org/sites/default/files/atoms/files/6-26-12tax.pdf.
 “Mothers” here includes grandmothers and other female relatives with dependent children.