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Whose Child Is This? Shifting of Dependents Among EITC Claimants Within the Same Household

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  • David Splinter
  • Jeff Larrimore
  • Jacob Mortenson

Abstract

Using a panel of household level tax data, we estimate the degree to which dependents are "reassigned" between tax units within households, and how these reassignments affect combined tax liabilities. Reassigning dependents reduces combined tax liabilities on average, suggesting some household level coordination. Additionally, when EITC benefits expanded in 2009, reassignments increasingly involved adding a third child to tax returns to claim these new benefits. However, the subgroup reassigning towards three child tax units actually increased total household tax liabilities, suggesting that some taxpayers may prioritize minimizing their own tax burden or focus on particularly salient aspects of tax policy.

Suggested Citation

  • David Splinter & Jeff Larrimore & Jacob Mortenson, 2017. "Whose Child Is This? Shifting of Dependents Among EITC Claimants Within the Same Household," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2017-089, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2017-89
    DOI: 10.17016/FEDS.2017.089
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bruce D. Meyer & Dan T. Rosenbaum, 2001. "Welfare, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Labor Supply of Single Mothers," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 1063-1114.
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    3. Jeff Larrimore & Jacob Mortenson & David Splinter, 2017. "Household Incomes in Tax Data : Using Addresses to Move from Tax Unit to Household Income Distributions," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2017-002, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US).
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Earned income tax credit ; Household level tax coordination ; Tax avoidance;

    JEL classification:

    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs

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