Policy &

Reaching more than 20,000 households with our services, including thousands of free tax returns filed and millions of dollars in refunds generated, only begins to address the financial challenges facing those we serve. CEP works at the local, state, and national levels to advance the interests of working individuals and families, supporting policies that alleviate poverty, create opportunity, and enable people to achieve their goals. By advocating for solutions in the following policy areas, CEP furthers its mission to empower its clients, and to improve the financial lives of millions more Americans.

Standing Up For Taxpayers: Why Minimum Standards for Paid Preparers Matter

March 2018

In Illinois—and 44 other states—there are more standards for hairdressers than there are for paid tax preparers. With high rates of error and fraud, paid preparers victimize countless taxpayers each year, leaving them to deal with disputes with the Internal Revenue Service and the Illinois Department of Revenue. Our report discusses state-level options for solving this problem. We also received comments from several 2018 attorney general and gubernatorial candidates, who overwhelmingly support establishing taxpayer protections.

The New Tax Law

February 2018

CEP’s statement on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Money Memo

First Quarter, 2018

Key tips from CEP and the IRS to note this tax season

Policy Brief: We Deserve a Better Tax Break

November 1, 2017

As Congress prepares to tackle tax reform, CEP focuses on key tax credits for those we serve.

Moving People to Save at Tax Time: Lessons from the Field

Summer 2017

“Moving People to Save at Tax Time” is our contribution to the field co-authored with Prepare and Prosper of St. Paul, Minnesota.

Restructuring the EITC: A Credit for the Modern Worker


On the benefits of a period payment plan for the Earned Income Tax Credit