Heal the Suffering Children: Fifty Years after the Declaration of War on Poverty

34 Boston College Journal of Law & Social Justice 311 (2014)

UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper

31 Pages Posted: 6 May 2014 Last revised: 20 Jun 2014

See all articles by Francine J. Lipman

Francine J. Lipman

University of Nevada, Las Vegas - William S. Boyd School of Law

Dawn Davis

University of Nevada, Las Vegas - College of Business

Date Written: May 3, 2014

Abstract

Fifty years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared the War on Poverty. Since then, the federal tax code has been a fundamental tool in providing financial assistance to poor working families. Even today, however, thirty-two million children live in families that cannot support basic living expenses, and sixteen million of those live in extreme poverty. This Article navigates the confusing requirements of an array of child-related tax benefits including the dependency exemption deduction, head of household filing status, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Child Tax Credit. Specifically, this Article explores how altering the definition of a “qualifying child” across these tax benefits might provide financial relief for working families. The Article concludes that the elimination of outdated citizenship or residency requirements would reduce taxpayer confusion and result in more effective tax benefits to help lift working families out of poverty.

Keywords: Tax, Poverty, Economic Inequality, Access to Justice, Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, immigrants, undocumented immigrants, dependent, qualifying child, uniform definition of a child, tax justice, antipoverty

JEL Classification: D63, H23, H24, H53, I38, J12, J13, K34, P36

Suggested Citation

Lipman, Francine J. and Davis, Dawn, Heal the Suffering Children: Fifty Years after the Declaration of War on Poverty (May 3, 2014). 34 Boston College Journal of Law & Social Justice 311 (2014) ; UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2432556

Francine J. Lipman (Contact Author)

University of Nevada, Las Vegas - William S. Boyd School of Law ( email )

4505 South Maryland Parkway
Box 451003
Las Vegas, NV 89154
United States

Dawn Davis

University of Nevada, Las Vegas - College of Business ( email )

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