The deadline for tax returns for many Americans is extended this year to Monday, April 18, which means another day to remind low-income households they may be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC.
This tax credit invests in children and families – it reduces the amount of tax certain households owe – and can give those households substantial refunds. Among government investments, the EITC and SNAP are the two largest drivers of reduced child poverty. Research shows that children who benefit from tax credits do better in school, attend college and earn more as adults.
Many local nonprofit organizations run outreach programs every year to help low-income households determine whether or not they are eligible for EITC and the refundable Child Tax Credit. Many sites connect working families not just to EITC but also to SNAP. Nationally, only 74 percent of low-income wage earners eligible for SNAP are receiving benefits (pdf) compared to 85 percent of the overall population eligible for SNAP.
Organizations like D.C. Hunger Solutions, in partnership with Community Tax Aid and Capital Area Asset Builders, are sending volunteers to conduct SNAP outreach at tax sites across the city to make it easier for working families who may not be able to take time off to get to a SNAP office or who may not realize that you can be working full-time and still be eligible for SNAP to benefit from both SNAP as well as EITC.
With 1 in 5 children in America living in poverty, we need to bolster our investments in programs that are proven to help low-income families, like the EITC. That is why last year, FRAC along with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the Children’s Leadership Council and The Coalition on Human Needs successfully fought to get Congress to permanently extend the EITC and the Child Tax Credit.
Looking forward, FRAC and our allies will continue to work to ensure successful tax policies such as the EITC are able to help as many children and families as possible, and that outreach across multiple programs keeps growing.