New Reimagining Tax Administration Video Available: Design Theory & Administrative Burden

Dear Friends,

As you know, the Center has been holding an online series of workshops, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, on Reimagining Tax Administration: Running Social Programs Through the Tax Code.  Over a series of seven workshops, we are exploring the implications for U.S. tax administration and its taxpayers if social benefits like the Earned Income Credit and the refundable Child Tax Credit are distributed through the tax system. 

We have a new workshop coming on this Monday, October 25th, from 10 am to noon EDT.  The topic is Program Eligibility Rules for EITC/CTC and Other Family Benefit/Anti-Poverty Programs.  In this workshop, we will review the statutory, regulatory, and other administrative rules pertaining to EITC and CTC eligibility, and compare them to eligibility requirements for other federal and state means-tested programs, as well as similar programs in other countries.  We’ll pay particular attention to the definition of a family or household, and we’ll also explore the implications of classifying overpayments as “improper payments” under the Improper Payment Information Act.

Our guests for this panel are:

  • Margot Crandall-Hollick, Congressional Research Service, Washington DC (moderator);
  • Chye-Ching Huang, Executive Director, NYU Tax Law Center, New York NY;
  • Elena Fowlkes, Taxpayer Advocate, District of Columbia Office of Tax and Revenue, Washington DC
  • Emily Lin, U.S. Department of Treasury, Washington DC
  • Cathy Livingston, Jones Day, Washington DC
  • Elaine Maag, Tax Policy Center, Washington DC

You can register for the workshop series here.  Registration is free, but you need to register in order to receive the online link to the live workshop.

In the meantime, you can catch up on past workshops by watching them on the Center’s Youtube channel.  We just loaded the workshop from October 18th, which was about Design Theory & Administrative Burden.  We were honored to have Jim Greiner from the Access to Justice Lab at Harvard University, Pam Herd and Don Moynihan from Georgetown University, and Emily Schmitt from the US Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families. 

In this workshop we discussed administrative burden – how it creates barriers for eligible individuals to claim benefits and navigate various agencies and legal systems, and how we can minimize administrative burden through better communication and administrative design, self-help initiatives, collaboration with third parties, auto-enrollment with existing data, and organizational cultural change.  The video really is a master class on administrative burden, behavioral economics, access to justice, and whole lot more.

I hope you will watch this video if you were unable to catch the live program.  And I hope you can attend the October 25th workshop – it promises to be a very thoughtful and enlightening discussion!

Until next time, please stay well,


Nina E. Olson
Executive Director