Under some circumstances, recent reforms to policies that affect the working poor create a barrier to workers who try to increase their families' financial well-being through greater earnings. As earnings rise, benefits are reduced and taxes increase. Together these two factors may mean that accepting a raise or working more hours may not make a worker's family better off financially. This article presents an analysis of the extent of implicit taxation and describes how low-wage workers experience this phenomenon. We address three areas: how benefit programs and the tax system together create high combined tax rates, the implications of this system for low-income families' well-being, and finally, suggestions for practice and reform.