As has been the case in past years, CWLA is joining with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities to conduct an annual tax credit outreach initiative to provide updated information and outreach tools to organizations that can help spread the message about refundable tax credits and free tax filing assistance to low income families. The Center is in its 25th year of promoting the tax credits that are key to lifting millions above the poverty level through the Earned Income Tax credit (EITC) and the newer Children’s Tax Credit.
The EITC, created during the President Gerald Ford Administration in the mid 1970s (and increased in every presidential administration since) is now worth up to $6,242 for jobs worked in 2015. The amount of the EITC refund is based on income and family size. The Child Tax Credit (CTC), created during the President Bill Clinton Administration in the 1990s, is a federal tax credit worth up to $1,000 for each qualifying child under age 17 claimed on a worker’s tax return. Ten million people are lifted out of poverty because the impact of the two credits with 5 million of this total being children.
CWLA members are uniquely positioned to assist in this campaign. Grandparents caring for grandchildren as well as foster parents are eligible for the tax credits.
Both credits have a “refundable” aspect to them meaning that you can gain a refund even if your federal tax liability is wiped away through deductions. EITC and CTC refunds won’t count as income when applying for or renewing any federally-funded benefits, such as SNAP (food stamps), TANF, SSI, Medicaid, or housing programs. EITC and CTC refunds do not affect Social Security or Medicare benefits. In terms of specific eligibility questions the Center on Budget Policy and Priorities has a FAQs section on the two credits.
This year the Center’s campaign has suspended the use of printed kits and is relying on the electronic kit and methods of distribution, something that all CWLA members can easily access through a new electronic Kit also available on a redesigned website. The campaign spans thousands of participants across the country who may come into contact with families that can benefit from the tax credit. That is why CWLA members are in a unique position to participate.
You can access important tools to the “Get It Back Campaign” through the following resource sites: