Blog Posts > 20,000 WV Veteran and Active Duty Households Would Benefit From the Working Families Tax Relief Act
July 3, 2019

20,000 WV Veteran and Active Duty Households Would Benefit From the Working Families Tax Relief Act

Every year, Independence Day gives us an opportunity to celebrate the freedom we enjoy, and to highlight the sacrifices that active-duty military personnel and veterans have made to preserve that freedom. It also presents an opportunity to re-examine the ways we can help veterans when they return home and re-enter civilian life.

It’s a sad fact that too many veteran and military families in West Virginia struggle financially, working at jobs that don’t pay enough to provide the basics for themselves and their families. To fulfill our obligation to those who have served, and to strengthen our communities and our economy, we need to ensure that veterans and members of our military can succeed and that their children get the kind of start in life that will help them thrive in the years to come. An important proposal, the Working Families Tax Relief Act, would do just that.

The Working Families Tax Relief Act, more money back in the pockets of millions of Americans by strengthening the highly successful Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC).

The legislation would:

  • Expand the EITC for families with children by roughly 25 percent;
  • Substantially strengthen the very small EITC for workers who aren’t raising children in their homes — the sole group that the federal tax code now taxes into, or deeper into, poverty. It would also extend the current age range of those who can claim the credit from 25 to 64 years old to 19 to 67 years old;
  • Make the Child Tax Credit fully refundable so children in lower-income households, including those with little or no income, could benefit fully from it. The proposal would also create a larger, fully refundable Young Child Tax Credit, boosting the Child Tax Credit to $3,000 per child under age 6, up from its current $2,000 per child.

In West Virginia, the proposal would provide significant and important help to 273,00 families, with 661,000 people, including 20,200 veteran and active-duty households, and the benefits would be shared broadly across racial groups.

The Working Families Tax Relief Act stands in stark contrast to the 2017 federal tax law, which provided most of its tax cuts to the nation’s wealthiest households and most profitable corporations, and not to working families.

The Working Families Tax Relief Act would begin to address this disparity by giving working veterans and active-duty military a needed boost. For example, a veteran working full time as a fast-food cook at a minimum wage earns $14,500 and, after paying taxes, doesn’t have enough money left to pay for basic needs like rent and groceries. The legislation would give that veteran an extra $1,530 back at tax time, so they would no longer be living in poverty. And a veteran who is a single mother of two earning $20,000 a year would get a $3,670 increase in her income.

That would mean more money to buy basic necessities, make needed home repairs, maintain a car to get to work, or, in some cases, get the additional education or training needed to secure a better, higher-paying job.

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