The Healthy Families EITC Coalition actively supports and advocates for the passage of:
H.2871/S.1841: An Act to increase family stabilization through the earned income tax credit, filed by Representative Decker, Representative Vargas, and Senator DiDomenico (bill fact sheet)
S.1852: An Act providing a guaranteed minimum income to all Massachusetts families, filed by Senator Eldridge (bill fact sheet)
Children’s HealthWatch has provided the following testimony urging legislators to expand the EITC:
Written Testimony to the Joint Committee on Ways and Means and the House Committee on Federal Stimulus and Census Oversight on the distribution of funding for the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)
The Healthy Families EITC Coalition is a statewide nonpartisan network of advocates working to improve the health and well-being of Massachusetts children and families by increasing and expanding the state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The 40+ member coalition is led by Children’s HealthWatch at Boston Medical Center and consists of community-based agencies, legal advocates, professional associations, and Massachusetts workers and their families. A list of partnership and supporting organizations of the Healthy Families EITC Coalition can be found at the bottom of this page under the Supporting Organizations section.
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a benefit for working individuals and families with low to moderate income that reduces the amount of taxes they owe and may even provide them with a refund. It is a tax policy critical in reducing the financial burden of low-income families and has the potential to decrease food insecurity and increase health through shifting income towards spending on healthy meals and necessary medical care.
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to people who generally make $54,000 or less, persons with disabilities, the elderly and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals.
Increase the Massachusetts EITC from 30% to 50% of the value of federal EITC.
• Increasing the MA EITC to 50% of the federal credit would increase economic mobility and improve children’s health.
Establish a minimum $2,400 credit for low to moderate income households earning up to $50,000 and those with no taxable income at all.
• Establishing a base credit would drastically improve the EITC’s ability to eliminate the most extreme forms of poverty and support families with the lowest incomes.
Extend the credit to middle-income families who are currently ineligible by expanding the phase-out rate to those earning up to $75,000.
• Extending the credit to middle-income families will enable more families to make ends meet.
Expand eligibility to previously excluded groups of people, including taxpayers who file with an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN), unpaid caregivers, low-income college students, and younger (<25) and older adults (65+) without children.
• Expanding state EITC eligibility would allow certain immigrants and other excluded populations to claim the credit, which would help families afford basic needs. This expansion would also recognize and support caregiving as essential work for children under the age of 6, dependents who are permanently and totally disabled, or qualifying relatives over the age of 69.
Improve access to the EITC through more frequent payment options and increased communications and outreach.
• Payment options would enable households to afford expenses throughout the year. A widely disseminated outreach and communications campaign on the availability of VITA sites would ensure that more low-income households receive the credit and protect them from for-profit tax preparers’ often exorbitant fees to claim the EITC.
December 11th, 2020: Governor Baker and the Massachusetts legislature approve the budget for the fiscal year 2021, raising funding for VITA sites and operations to $820,000
July 19th, 2019: Governor Baker and the Massachusetts legislature approve the budget for the fiscal year 2020, including for the first time funding for VITA sites and operations at $200,000
July 30th, 2018: Massachusetts increases the Massachusetts Earned Income Tax Credit from 23 percent to 30 percent of the federal credit
July 17th, 2017: Governor Baker signs the budget for the fiscal year 2018 including the provision to expand Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to survivors of domestic violence and abandoned spouses.
July 11th, 2017: The Massachusetts legislature passes a budget for the fiscal year 2018 including a provision to expand Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to survivors of domestic violence and abandoned spouses.
August 5th, 2015: Governor Baker signs Earned Income Tax Increase for Working Families, increasing the Massachusetts Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) from 15% to 23% of the federal EITC.