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Tax Credits for the Working Poor
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Book description

The United States introduced the earned income tax credit (EITC) in 1975, where it remains the most significant earnings-based refundable credit in the Internal Revenue Code. While the United States was the first country to use its domestic revenue system to deliver and administer social welfare benefits to lower-income individuals or families, a number of other countries, including New Zealand and Canada, have experimented with or incorporated similar credits into their tax systems. In this work, Michelle Lyon Drumbl, drawing on her extensive advocacy experience representing low-income taxpayers in EITC audits, analyzes the effectiveness of the EITC in the United States and offers suggestions for how it can be improved. This timely book should be read by anyone interested in how the EITC can be reimagined to better serve the working poor and, more generally, whether the tax system can promote social justice.

Reviews

‘From the unique lens of a tax justice warrior working on the frontlines fighting poverty, Michelle Lyon Drumbl details the troubled history of US refundable tax credits and compares similar international programs to reimagine relief for America's vulnerable working families. A must read for anyone engaged in critical rethinking of economic justice policies.'

Francine J. Lipman - University of Nevada, Las Vegas

‘Michelle Lyon Drumbl draws on a wide range of resources – including the history of the EITC, studies about its impact, the experience of other countries with similar programs, and her years representing taxpayers in EITC disputes with the IRS – in making a number of thoughtful proposals for improving the design and administration of the EITC. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the future of federal antipoverty policy in the United States.'

Lawrence Zelenak - Duke University, North Carolina, and author of Learning to Love Form 1040: Two Cheers for the Return-Based Mass Income Tax

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