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Three cheers for the Earned Income Tax Credit!

Well, we just did our taxes and it seems we may be able to pay off (a large portion of) our 2 year old.

That's right. We had this two year old boy on credit cuz we lost our insurance when he was six months a'gestatin'. We were worried the rePo man would come to our house and take him away to become a Chimney sweep any day now. The sweet little guy would fit right down a chimney, or would be a fine undertaker's apprentice...but now we get to avoid all the Dickensian scenarios and reduce the awkward, angry calls from the hospital asking us about "the monies."

I do declare, the expanded Earned Income Tax Credit is going to have an enormous impact on our lives.

Expanded Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC):More couples who file jointly and have children will qualify for the Earned Income Credit.

The tax package starts the phaseout range at $21,420, an increase of $1,880. Also in 2009, the credit increases for families with three or more children to 45 percent of the first $12,570 of earned income, up from 40 percent.

To learn more, read A Stimulus Boost for Some Earned Income Tax Filers.

Enhanced Child Tax Credit: Plus, the Child Tax Credit will cover more low-income earners: For 2008, the credit is refundable to the extent of 15 percent of an individual’s earned income in excess of $8,500; for 2009 and 2010, that floor drops to $3,000.


More and broader income levels of Americans qualify for the earned income tax credit this year at a time when more people need it.

In the midst of all the grandiose plans and the political wrangling, this one little thing will make the biggest, most important and immediate impact in my family's life.

The grandiose is still important.

But so many middle class families just need a little push. And something relatively small can have a huge impact. I think often we're drawn to the extreme cases and focus energy on the large solutions, even as something as basic as the EIC can affect millions of Americans' lives.

Today, after this EIC thing, I feel for now that maybe things are going to be okay for us this year. Whoa, man...that's a weird feeling. Not bad, though.

So...hey...thanks Obama for expanding that. And it's not just us. We compared notes with friends to make sure we weren't wildly off. A lot of people are in a state of pleasant surprise.

Originally posted to Muskegon Critic on Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 08:35 PM PDT.

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