This report, co-authored with Indivar Dutta-Gupta, Kali Grant, Rachel Black, and Funke Adenronmu (Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality, www.georgetownpoverty.org), examines how, while the U.S. income tax system is progressive overall, many aspects of the tax code reward wealth-building by the already wealthy and exclude low- and moderate-income families. Given the historical discrimination and ongoing structural barriers that have locked women and people of color out of economic opportunity, such tax provisions not only exacerbate economic inequality, but also amplify gender and racial disparities. 

  • Notable exceptions include the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the refundable portion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC), which boost low- and moderate-income families’ economic security and increase gender and racial equity. 
  • This report considers the question: how can our tax code build on the success of the EITC and CTC to better dismantle structural barriers that impede economic security and wealth-building for women and people of color? 
  • It ultimately proposes a framework to help policymakers, advocates, and the public evaluate when and how refundable tax credits can advance equity, economic mobility, and opportunity for all. 
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