2004 Adopted Resolutions
72nd Annual Meeting
Boston

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EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT PRE-CERTIFICATION

WHEREAS, in 2002, the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) lifted 4.9 million people, including 2.7 million children, above the poverty line-more than any other federal aid program; and

WHEREAS, currently, the value of the EITC credit is $36 billion, to the benefit of 22 million hard working, low income families and individuals; and

WHEREAS, the EITC represents money earned by hard working, low income families and in no way represents a give-away; and

WHEREAS, the EITC provides enormous economic benefit to our communities because recipients spend their EITC dollars on goods and services within our communities; and

WHEREAS, beyond reducing poverty, the EITC promotes work, reduces income inequity and helps low income working families build assets; and

WHEREAS, despite great opposition from the U.S. Conference of Mayors, members of Congress and many national organizations, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) implemented a new "certification" process in December 2003 which required 25,000 EITC applicants to be "certified" before they could receive their EITC benefits; and

WHEREAS, the IRS plans to “pre-certify” an additional 25,000 EITC applicants in July 2004 prior to knowing the initial impact of these requirements through a comprehensive evaluation; and

WHEREAS, the extensive documentation required for this pre-certification may be difficult, if not impossible, to obtain within the proposed six month deadline and will inevitably deter many eligible families from even applying for the EITC benefit to which they are entitled under federal law; and

WHEREAS, the complications of the “pre-certification” process will inevitably cause delays in EITC refunds of such filers, refunds that families count on for basic living expenses; and

WHEREAS, the IRS has indicated that it may expand the “pre-certification” requirements to approximately two million filers for the coming filing seasons, and do so prior to knowing the initial impact of these requirements through a comprehensive evaluation; and

WHEREAS, the IRS appears to be targeting low income working families applying for the EITC benefit while not requiring pre-certification for tax shelters purchased by corporations or tax benefits claimed by higher income individuals,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The United States Conference of Mayors calls on Congress to address any delays in tax returns that EITC filers have experienced due to the certification and pre-certification procedures; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED  that The U.S. Conference of Mayors opposes the IRS initiative to continue and expand the EITC pre-certification procedures; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the U.S. Conference of Mayors calls on Congress to prohibit any further implementation of new EITC requirements without proper Congressional authorization; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the U.S. Conference of Mayors urges Congress and the IRS to simplify EITC so that all those who are eligible can and will apply for their justly deserved tax credit.