The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC), which go to millions of low- and moderate-income working families each year, provide work, income, educational, and health benefits to its recipients and their children, a substantial body of research shows. In addition, recent ground-breaking research suggests the income from these credits leads to benefits at virtually every stage of life. For instance, research indicates that children in families receiving the credits do better in school, are likelier to attend college, and can be expected to earn more as adults.
Numerous studies show that working-family tax credits boost work effort. The EITC expansions of the 1990s contributed as much to the subsequent increases in work among single mothers and female heads of households as the welfare changes of that period, extensive research has found. Women who benefited from those EITC expansions also experienced higher wage growth in subsequent years than otherwise-similar women who didn’t benefit. And, by boosting the employment and earnings of working-age women, the EITC boosts the size of the Social Security retirement benefits they ultimately will receive. (author introduction)