Lower Age Eligibility for Earned Income Tax Credit


Target: John Boehner, Speaker of the House of Representatives and Joe Biden, President of the Senate

Goal: Lower age of eligibility to receive Earned Income Tax Credit from 25 to 21, which would raise 300,000 people out of poverty

The Earned Income Tax Credit, or the EITC is a wage supplement for low-income families, but there is new legislation in both the House of Representatives and the Senate that proposes to extend eligibility to childless low-income workers, ages 21 and up. This alteration would result in 300,000 people being raised out of poverty. Please urge Congress to pass this vital legislation.

According to the nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, in addition to the 300,000, at least 3.8 million others would be brought closer to the poverty line. In 2011, the EITC brought 3.1 million children out of poverty. Currently childless workers under the age of 25 are ineligible to receive the credit’s benefits. Also from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “childless workers are the sole group that the federal tax system taxes deeper into poverty.” According to a report by the Brookings Institute, a nonprofit research organization, the program also made as much as $1.50 in additional earnings for every dollar spent on the program.

Young men of low-income were hit especially hard during the recession, and are one of the groups that would benefit from a more inclusive expansion of the program. Please urge Congress to pass legislation that would bring hundreds of thousands of Americans out of poverty.


Dear Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner and President of the Senate Joe Biden,

By lowering the age of eligibility of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) from 25 to 21, 300,000 people will find themselves above the poverty line. According to the nonpartisan organization, Center on Budgets and Policy Priorities, an additional 3.8 million people would be brought closer to the poverty line. These numbers are why Congress should pass legislation that expands eligibility of the EITC.

A childless person under the age of 25 who works full-time is not eligible for the EITC, even with a salary amounting to only $14,500 per year. Another solution that would complement the expansion of the EITC would be a nationwide raise of the minimum wage. Restaurant Opportunities Centers United conducted a study that discovered that a ten dollar per hour minimum wage would bring more than half of the country’s working poor above the poverty line.

Among people who would most benefit from this alteration of the program are low-income men, a group whose earnings have tremendously suffered when the recession hit. Without the benefits of the EITC childless, working men under the age of 25 are likely to stay poor. Please pass this legislation that will benefit Americans in poverty.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Dave Dugdale via Flickr

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