Thursday, September 7, 2023

More Data Needed to Help Reduce Benefit Participation Gaps

 From Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity

While the Earned Income Tax Credit and traditional Child Tax Credit lifted 10.6 million people above the poverty line (including 5.5 million children) and made 17.5 million people less poor (including 6.4 million children) in 2018, millions of eligible people—primarily those with very low incomes falling below the required federal tax filing threshold, or “non-filers”—are not receiving the benefits. To help devise strategies to reduce those gaps, a new paper from the NYU Law Tax Law Center calls for greater transparency and data collection by the Internal Revenue Service to develop a better sense of who uses the tax credits and who doesn’t. Co-author Kathleen Bryant spoke with Spotlight recently about the paper; the transcript of that conversation has been lightly edited for length and clarity. Read the interview summary here.