Public Assets Institute > Blog > Ensure that families get the state Child Tax Credit

Ensure that families get the state Child Tax Credit

Amid rising prices and expiring pandemic assistance for housing, food, and other basics, there’s some good news for Vermonters and their kids. Families most in need—those with low or no earnings—with children under 6 can now receive $1,000 from the refundable Vermont Child Tax Credit when they file their 2022 tax returns.

But here’s the challenge: Many families with low earnings don’t have to file taxes—so they risk missing out on these credits. In 2019 the IRS estimated that 17 percent of Vermont filers did not claim the Earned Income Tax Credit, a similar refundable tax credit targeting families with low income, even though they were eligible. To address this problem during the pandemic, the feds provided a simplified filing portal in English and Spanish, where families who did not have to file taxes could apply for economic impact payments and the expanded federal Child Tax Credit.

Vermont could learn from the feds and launch its own initiatives to make sure every eligible family gets the assistance they’re entitled to. The state needs to increase outreach so filers know about the credit. The Department of Taxes can target messages to new or intermittent filers. State offices like the Economic Security Division can reach out to participants who are likely to qualify. And the state can collaborate with community-based organizations to raise awareness and make outreach materials available in languages other than English.

The state also needs to create more opportunities for people to file. This includes funding to fully staff the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program run by community action agencies across the state.

Some resources are already in place to help Vermonters. Households with internet access and adjusted gross income under $73,000 can file online or through GetYourRefund, a free online tax filing tool from the IRS available to households with income under $66,000. People making around $60,000 or less can also contact their local community action agency to sign up for tax-filing support.

With more outreach and support, Vermont can increase the number of families who receive these needed credits. But without this work, the accomplishment of creating a state Child Tax Credit will be in vain for many families.



Join us this Thursday, February 23rd at noon to learn more about the Vermont Child Tax Credit and talk about what the state can do to make sure it gets to the families who need it most.

Public Assets is partnering with Voices for Vermont’s Children for this hour-long advocate- and practitioner-oriented discussion of this important resource.

Together, with experts from around the state, we’ll reflect on the value of the credit as designed, discuss resources available to help people file, and envision possibilities to build upon the important foundation it creates for children and families.

ASL interpretation and transcription will be provided. Learn more and register.

Posted by Julie Lowell on February 20, 2023 at 4:14 pm

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