Congresswoman Corrine Brown made the following statement:
"Last week, I introduced The Easy Earned Income Tax Credit Act of 2012. This bill simplifies the process for claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit for the millions of taxpayers who have earned it but didn't fill out the right paperwork to get it."
Nearly thirty million American households rely on the Earned Income Tax Credit. These families earn under $50,000 and receive an average benefit of about $2,000 in reduced tax liability or cash. The EITC was instituted during the Ford administration and was dramatically expanded with wide bipartisan support under Presidents Reagan and Clinton because it has been so effective for the middle class. President Obama's stimulus bill increased the credit for people with three or more children, and increased the credit for married people so they don't face a "marriage penalty" compared with other filers.
EITC lifts millions of families out of poverty and stimulates the economy as working people use the extra money to buy basic necessities or make larger purchases that were previously out of reach. Four out of five taxpayers who take the time to claim the credit will get some benefit. Unfortunately, about twenty percent of eligible workers don't claim the EITC. One reason for this gap is confusion over the process.
The Easy Earned Income Tax Credit Act of 2012 (H.R. 4421) simplifies the process for claiming the EITC. First, it directs the IRS to eliminate unnecessary paperwork. Nearly all the information necessary to determine eligibility is already collected on Form 1040 so a small change will not make that form any more complicated. Second, it directs the IRS to add language to Form 1040 advising filers that the IRS can calculate the credit for them. These provisions do not expand EITC eligibility and will not cost the Treasury any more than these working families are already entitled to.
"Unfortunately, many wage earners leave money on the table when they do their taxes. This bill should help make sure people do not walk away empty handed," said