The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) program is one of the United States’ largest and most successful anti-poverty tools. It provides a refundable tax credit of up to $6,143 (for tax year 2014) for low- to moderate-income working individuals and couples, particularly those with children. The amount of tax credit benefit is dependent upon the recipient’s income and the number of children.
The EITC program has received consistent bipartisan support in American government since it was enacted in 1975. Despite its popularity among lawmakers and wide-ranging success, every year, 1 in 5 citizens eligible for an EITC do not claim it.
In 2015, an outreach strategy was developed to ensure that as many residents of Neighborhood Associates’ communities as possible received an EITC. A packet of documents was assembled and sent to NAC’s on-site community coordinators, who were able to share the materials prior to tax season via awareness campaigns. The packet contained “Fast Fact” sheets, informational overviews, income tables, helpful definitions, frequently asked questions, and a flyer and poster for marketing purposes. In addition, lists of Volunteer Income Tax Clinics (VITAs) and Low-Income Tax Clinics (LITCs) within accessible distances to each specific community were also compiled. VITAs and LITCs offer free tax assistance to EITC eligible households.