Angel, a mother of three, drives her children across town every day to school and day care. She then heads downtown for her job. This may seem like a normal daily routine, but each drive in her old car was a gamble with fate. “I had to learn a tactic to put it in neutral, start it back up, and put in drive—all while still moving.”
Angel works hard, but a new car just wasn’t in the budget. Until she visited a local Volunteer Income Tax Assistance site and learned she’d be getting a substantial return because of the Earned Income Tax Credit.
The EITC allowed Angel to buy a more reliable car, and allowed her family to start each day with happy conversations rather than anxiously waiting for the car to stall.
The Earned Income Tax Credit is a refundable tax credit for low- and modest income working people that encourages and rewards work helping people to pay for the basics, like transportation, housing and groceries.
But currently, lower-income working Americans who cannot claim children on their taxes access little to no EITC. Also, young workers age 21-24 are ineligible. So while the EITC is one of the most effective tools we have to help working families keep their heads above water, it excludes millions of workers.
That’s why United Way is on Capitol Hill today, sharing Angel’s story and talking about the need to expand this common sense policy to 13 million hardworking Americans so they can have a fair shot at a better life.