Why We File
Today, three days after 25,000 people across the country marched to demand that President Trump release his tax returns, marks the deadline for filing 2016 tax returns. At this point, if you haven’t filed your taxes, your thoughts about the federal tax system may be unprintable. (Remember you can always request an extension!) But let’s take a moment today to remember why we file – and why a fair federal tax system is such a priority:
- Taxes are how we fund the programs and services that families rely on. The tax system provides revenues to the federal government. When we pay federal taxes, we help fund healthcare, infrastructure, schools, defense, and the priorities we all share. It’s part of our shared responsibility – and when federal programs aren’t fully funded, women and their families will bear the brunt. That’s why we need the tax system that raises enough revenue to fund our shared priorities, instead of giving more tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations.
- The tax system provides important benefits that help families make ends meet. Tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit, and the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit help boost the incomes of families with children by lowering their tax bills or increasing their tax refunds. Refunds from the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit have been shown to increase health and educational outcomes for children, and the tax benefits from the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit help families with the high cost of the child care they need to work. That’s why we need to protect and improve federal tax credits for families.
- The advocates and service providers that help families file their taxes can connect those families with other important services and supports. Low- and moderate-income families can get help filing their tax returns from community tax coalitions and service providers around the country. Many coalitions not only help people file their taxes, but get access to critical benefits, income supports, asset building, and financial literacy resources. That’s why we need to fund the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, and community tax coalitions around the country – as well as the IRS itself.
So today, as you stand in line at the post office or race through filling out the last lines of your 1040, remember that you are doing your part to fund the priorities that we all share as a nation. Let’s make sure that the wealthiest taxpayers and corporations do the same. Thanks, fellow tax filer!