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Brown, Cassidy, Higgins, Kelly Introduce Bipartisan Lookback Legislation to Ensure Low-Income Families Impacted by COVID-19 Can Use Previous Year's Income to File for 2020 EITC and CTC

May 11, 2020
Press Release
Due to the COVID-19 Outbreak, a Number of Workers Will See Lower Wages in 2020, Which Means Those Eligible for EITC and CTC Could See Lower Refunds


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and Reps. Brian Higgins (D-NY-26) and Mike Kelly (R-PA-16) introduced bicameral legislation to ensure low-income families impacted by the current coronavirus outbreak can use the wages reported in their 2019 tax return to compute the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) on their 2020 tax return.


Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, a number of low-income workers will report lower wages in 2020, which means those eligible for the EITC and CTC could receive lower refunds. By allowing workers to use 2019 wages to compute their EITC and CTC, the legislation will help those hit hardest by this crisis get a larger refund that is consistent with their earnings from the previous filing season. Congress has temporarily allowed this election in the wake of previous natural disasters.


“Fighting for workers impacted by the coronavirus outbreak not only means getting the relief they need now, but also looking ahead and using tools like the EITC and CTC. We can’t let workers take a hit on their wages this year and then a second hit when they file taxes next year,” said Brown. “This legislation will help ensure families get the refund they’ve earned and the income boost they need at tax time.” 

“Allowing low-income families to use 2019 tax returns for 2020 will ensure they do not suffer a double bit from coronavirus. This small change will make a huge difference in the lives of many,” said Dr. Cassidy.

"Working families in our communities are experiencing significant financial hardships due to the current coronavirus outbreak. As we work to ease their burden today, we must also think to the future by providing a path towards better economic security," said Congressman Higgins. "Allowing workers the option to file their 2020 tax return using their 2019 reported wages is a simple step toward restoring the refund they typically earn and deserve."


“At a time of unprecedented unemployment because of COVID-19, we have to get creative to help working families not only get the assistance they need today but also next year when they file their taxes. This simple plan will help shield Americans from receiving more bad news on tax day in 2021,” said Congressman Kelly.