Boosting the Earned Income Tax Credit for Singles
Author: Adam Isen, Caroline Schultz, Cynthia Miller, Gilda Azurdia, Kali Aloisi, Lawrence F. Katz
Topic: Tax filing and benefits
Publisher: MDRC
Location: New York, United States
Format: Report
Content Type: Research
Publication Date: September 1, 2018

By providing a refundable credit at tax time, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is widely viewed as a successful public policy that is both antipoverty and pro-work.  But most of its benefits have gone to workers with children.

Paycheck Plus is a test of a more generous credit for low-income workers without dependent children. The program, which provides a bonus of up to $2,000 at tax time, is being evaluated using a randomized controlled trial in New York City and Atlanta. This report presents findings through three years from New York, where over 6,000 low-income single adults without dependent children enrolled in the study in late 2013.

The findings are consistent with other research on the federal EITC, indicating that an effective work-based safety net program can increase incomes for vulnerable and low-income individuals and families while encouraging and rewarding work.

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