Tax Day (April 15) is nearly upon us. Maybe you’re scrambling to file, or maybe you’re happy to have a refund on the way. Whatever your feelings about your own taxes, it’s important to remember that taxes are essential to fund critical investments – everything from roads and bridges to education and life-saving scientific research.
But perhaps you’re thinking, “Wait a second. The roads where I live are crumbling, and the schools aren’t in such great shape either. And Washington just cut funding we need to improve our roads and our schools and help families who are struggling. I don’t think our tax code is working the way it should.” Well… you’re right. The tax code contains a bunch of special-interest loopholes and preferences that are used by the wealthy and big corporations to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. Some of the richest Americans pay a lower tax rate than middle-class families do, and some very profitable corporations manage to pay no federal income tax at all.
These unfair tax breaks cost the federal government billions of dollars a year – dollars that could be used to strengthen our economy and support programs that help women and their families. For example, a policy known as “deferral” allows companies to delay paying taxes on profits made overseas, which means corporations get more favorable tax treatment if they ship jobs and profits offshore than if they invest at home. As this new NWLC infographic shows, ending this tax break would raise about $60.6 billion in a year – more than the federal government spends annually on Head Start, child care assistance, school meals, and education for disadvantaged children. (Check out NWLC’s new fact sheet for more information.)
With programs that low-income women and families depend on – like Head Start, child care, and housing assistance – facing deep cuts from the sequester, it’s appalling to continue tax giveaways to the rich and powerful. It’s time to make the wealthiest Americans and corporations pay their fair share.