Sam is a single dad who works two jobs to support himself and his daughter. He works hard, and every dollar he makes is crucial to creating a good life for her.
8% of Weld County residents live in poverty; in east Greeley/Evans, the county seat, that rate rises to 21%—nearly one in four. And more than a third of the children living in east Greeley/Evans are in poverty. The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a tax credit that goes to millions of low- and moderate-income working families each year. In addition to encouraging work, the EITC provides income, lifting millions of families out of poverty, as well as educational and health benefits to its recipients and their children.
Children whose families receive more income from refundable tax credits…
- do better in school
- are likelier to attend college
- are likely to earn more as adults
- are likelier to avoid the early onset of disabilities and other illnesses associated with childhood poverty
Now known as Get Ahead Colorado and managed by the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, the Piton Foundation offered the Tax Credits for Working Families Campaign for over 25 years. The primary goal is to increase the number of eligible families in Colorado receiving the EITC, as well as other tax credits aimed at helping lower income families. Research shows that the EITC lifts millions of families out of poverty each year. Additionally the EITC has been found to produce substantial increases in employment and reductions in welfare among single parents. Free tax preparation is also available to less affluent individuals and families.
211 Colorado has partnered on the EITC program for more than a decade. As tax season approaches, United Way of Weld County staff distribute EITC informational flyers at business and community presentations, 211 makes mention of the availability of the EITC when callers inquire about tax preparation, and 211 provides information and referral on free tax preparation sites for low to moderate income households and seniors. 211 tracks the number of calls during which it mentions the EITC and refers people to tax preparation resources. Based on this number of referrals, United Way receives reimbursement for its participation.
“Nationwide as of December 2020, about 25 million eligible workers and families received about $62 billion in EITC. The average amount of EITC received nationwide was about $2,461.”Internal Revenue Service