The Irs's Compliance Regime: Taxpayers Caught in the Net
Posted: 24 Jan 2003
This article discusses the intersection of tax and poverty law. Its focus is the earned income tax credit ("EITC"), now the most important federal program in terms of lifting America's children out of poverty and an important component of welfare reform. It reveals how the Internal Revenue Service's administration of the EITC creates system-wide challenges for our nation's lower-income taxpayers. This article integrates the substance and procedure of the EITC, and argues that the IRS compliance regime places the rights of lower-income taxpayers at risk. While there has been significant academic and governmental attention to noncompliance among taxpayers claiming the EITC, the failure to identify the risks that the existing administration of the laws places on eligible taxpayers weakens the overall effectiveness of the EITC and has pernicious effects on the working poor taxpayers intended to benefit from the EITC.
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