Uncle Sam and the Childcare Squeeze: (Over-)Taxing the Working Family

Source: Shannon Weeks McCormack, University of Washington School of Law Research Paper No. 2015-05, January 19, 2015

From the abstract:
Today, it is more common for families to consist of two earners than one, and parents increasingly report that they require two incomes to make ends meet. But parents lucky enough to find themselves employed will also find themselves in the “childcare squeeze.” With childcare costs representing one of the highest costs incurred by young families, today’s working parents spend a strikingly large percentage of their income on childcare in order to work away from the home. Worse still, other families find themselves “squeezed out” entirely, unable to find employment with wages high enough to pay soaring childcare expenses. This Article describes the role that two provisions of the Internal Revenue Code have played in creating and aggravating these hardships and provides a blueprint for meaningful reform that will prevent the pervasive over-taxation of the working family.