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Introducing the 2008 Michigan Earned Income Tax Credit Scott B. Darragh Office of Revenue Introducing the 2008 Michigan Earned Income Tax Credit Scott B. Darragh Office of Revenue and Tax Analysis Michigan Department of Treasury EITC Learning Exchange June 13, 2008 1

l 2 Any opinions expressed today should be viewed as strictly my own, and l 2 Any opinions expressed today should be viewed as strictly my own, and may not represent the views of the State Treasurer or the Michigan Department of Treasury.

Life as an Economist An economist is someone who gets rich explaining to others Life as an Economist An economist is someone who gets rich explaining to others why they are poor. (Source unknown) l A woman hears from her doctor that she only has half a year to live. The doctor advises her to marry an economist. The woman asks, "Will this cure my illness? " "No, " the doctor answers, "but the six months will seem like a lifetime!" --Taken from Jeff Thredgold, On the One Hand: The Economist's Joke Book. l 3

Federal and State EITCs l l l 4 The federal EITC will provide approximately Federal and State EITCs l l l 4 The federal EITC will provide approximately $44. 7 billion in benefits to recipients in 2008 (2009 Budget of the U. S. ). The number of states with EITCs has grown from 7 in 1994 to 22 in 2008 (CBPP). State EITCs typically are structured to mirror federal eligibility and equal a percentage of the federal credit (piggyback credits).

Brief Recent History of EITC The last major expansion of federal EITC occurred in Brief Recent History of EITC The last major expansion of federal EITC occurred in 1993. “Last year, we fought for, and won, a major expansion of the EITC…. This credit will help millions of workers and is a cornerstone of our effort to reform the welfare system and make work pay. ” l President Clinton, memorandum dated March 9, 1994 5

Recent History (cont. ) l l Combined with welfare reform enacted in 1996, the Recent History (cont. ) l l Combined with welfare reform enacted in 1996, the EITC reflects a policy shift that ties public assistance to work. Federal legislation enacted in 1997, 2001, and 2004 has: – – – 6 Modified the rules for qualifying children; reduced marriage penalties in the EITC; and sought to improve compliance with EITC requirements.

EITC vs. AFDC/TANF 7 Source: Budget for Fiscal Year 2009, Historical Tables EITC vs. AFDC/TANF 7 Source: Budget for Fiscal Year 2009, Historical Tables

Poverty Rates: 1975 - 2006 8 Source: U. S. Census Bureau Poverty Rates: 1975 - 2006 8 Source: U. S. Census Bureau

Impact of EITC on Poverty 9 Source: U. S. Census Bureau data for 2006 Impact of EITC on Poverty 9 Source: U. S. Census Bureau data for 2006

Federal EITC Payments in Michigan 10 Source: Statistics of Income, Internal Revenue Service Federal EITC Payments in Michigan 10 Source: Statistics of Income, Internal Revenue Service

Annual Growth in EITC Payments 11 Source: Statistics of Income, Internal Revenue Service Annual Growth in EITC Payments 11 Source: Statistics of Income, Internal Revenue Service

Errors in Claiming EITC l l Errors associated with EITC administration have generated a Errors in Claiming EITC l l Errors associated with EITC administration have generated a lot of attention. Over-claiming EITC – – – l Under-claiming EITC – – 12 IRS estimates approximately 23 -28% paid in error, although the estimates are a few years old Errors related to qualified child, filing status, and income Changes have been implemented at federal level to potentially address some of these problems GAO estimates approximately 25% don’t claim the credit, representing approximately 11% of total credits Under-claim highest for filers without children or more than 2 qualifying children

Michigan EITC l l l Public Act 372 of 2006 created a refundable Michigan Michigan EITC l l l Public Act 372 of 2006 created a refundable Michigan EITC. Effective for tax years beginning after 2007. Michigan EITC is a piggyback credit equal to: – – 13 10% of the federal credit for which the taxpayer is eligible in 2008; and 20% of the federal credit for which the taxpayer is eligible after 2008.

Who is Eligible? l Must be a Michigan taxpayer – – l Must be Who is Eligible? l Must be a Michigan taxpayer – – l Must be eligible for the federal EITC – – 14 Subject to the Michigan income tax Not necessarily a resident Must have a Social Security Number Cannot be married filing a separate return Meet income/child criteria Cannot be blocked from claiming the federal credit due to negligence or suspected fraud (I. R. C. Sec. 32(k)).

Economic Impact of the New Michigan EITC l l 15 The new Michigan EITC Economic Impact of the New Michigan EITC l l 15 The new Michigan EITC will magnify the impact of the federal EITC. Low-income working families now receive a wage subsidy of up to 44% in 2008. Michigan families receiving the maximum EITC will now be eligible for a combined federal and state credit of $3, 209 with one qualifying child or $5, 306 with more than one qualifying child. Greater impact on income for eligible families than on labor force participation and employment.

Estimated Cost of Michigan EITC l l l 16 Michigan residents received $1. 33 Estimated Cost of Michigan EITC l l l 16 Michigan residents received $1. 33 billion in federal EITC payments for tax year 2006. However, it is likely that less than 100% of the eligible claimants will actually claim the Michigan EITC (CBPP). Current estimate is that Michigan residents will receive $133. 6 million for 2008 and $298. 9 million for 2009.

How to Claim the Michigan EITC l l l 17 Important to remember that How to Claim the Michigan EITC l l l 17 Important to remember that Treasury’s plans for administering the Michigan EITC are tentative. We expect to receive approximately 750, 000 EITC claims for tax year 2008. If similar to the federal EITC, between 80%90% of the credit claims will be filed electronically.

Claiming the EITC (cont. ) l l l 18 To claim the Michigan EITC Claiming the EITC (cont. ) l l l 18 To claim the Michigan EITC a taxpayer will likely need to complete a form that resembles the federal Schedule EIC to report qualifying children, earned income, and the amount of federal EITC claimed. When returns are filed electronically, this reporting will be seamless. For most paper returns, this will be straightforward as well.

Claiming the EITC (cont. ) l l l 19 The process in Michigan will Claiming the EITC (cont. ) l l l 19 The process in Michigan will be similar to the process in many other states. Watch for more information in the Michigan 1040 booklet next January and on the Treasury Website (www. michigan. gov/treasury). Treasury will work with commercial tax preparers and software developers as part of our annual forms development process and we would expect that the Michigan EITC will be included in their programs.

Proposed Legislation l l 20 Senate Bill 662, introduced last summer, would make the Proposed Legislation l l 20 Senate Bill 662, introduced last summer, would make the Michigan EITC conditional on a $250 million balance in the Rainy Day Fund. House Bill 4645, passed by the House in February, would regulate the refund anticipation loan process.

Conclusion l l 21 “I think we agree, the past is over. ” Governor Conclusion l l 21 “I think we agree, the past is over. ” Governor George W. Bush – May 10, 2000 And so is my presentation. Any questions?