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Asset-Building, Tax Policies, and Subsidies

Asset-building, tax credits and subsidies are all strategies designed to improve the financial well-being of families. Asset-building programs typically aim to improve the net worth and financial security of families, while tax credits and subsidies increase the refund received.

Generally, asset-building includes initiatives designed to help low-income families connect to mainstream financial markets, improve money management skills, save and plan for the future, build or repair their credit, and build their net worth. Federal tax credits are available to qualifying families, and programs surrounding these credits typically include marketing and outreach, counter predatory lending practices, and promote affordable tax preparation services. Certain States and municipalities also operate State tax credit and subsidy programs. The importance and effectiveness of these tax policies, subsidies and programs to self-sufficiency pathways is often a topic of research.

View recommendations from the SSRC Librarian on Asset-Building, Tax Policies, and Subsidies and relevant federal laws and regulations below. 


A hand holding a piggy bank over a stack of notebooks
Strategies and tools designed to assist low-income individuals and families in developing assets include financial education, savings accounts, getting banked, managing credit and debt, tax credits and filing assistance, and accessing federal and state benefits. Research on asset-building and development frequently discusses bank accounts, individual development accounts (IDAs), and/or financial management. Research on tax credits and subsidies frequently explores the Earned Income Tax Credit and its impact on low-income individuals and families. 
A smiling woman handing a pen to a desk clerk
Legislative and regulatory requirements frame allowable programs and initiatives designed to assist low-income individuals in accumulating assets such as savings accounts, houses, and degrees/certifications. Click the first link below to view legislative resources specific to asset-building and subsidy programs for low-income individuals. Click the second link to browse additional self-sufficiency legislation and policy in the SSRC library.