Per Montgomery County:
For Immediate Release: Friday, January 28, 2022
In recognition of Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day, January 28, County Executive Marc Elrich encourages residents to “Get All Your Tax Credits.” Residents with household incomes of $58,000 or less may be eligible for the federal, State and County Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC) and free tax assistance through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.
“In a historic move, Maryland legislators increased the State’s EITC and, for the first time, made it available to taxpayers filing with an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN), who previously were ineligible,” said County Executive Elrich. “In this time when many workers struggle to pay for food and housing, and may be earning less because of wages lost due to COVID-19, I am proud that our County responded by also making the Working Families Income Supplement (WFIS) available to those who file taxes using an ITIN. These changes will mean that an additional 10,000 individuals and families will be eligible to receive these tax credits.”
This year presents a special opportunity for eligible taxpayers with dependents, and without, to increase their refunds due to increases of federal, State, and local tax credits. Montgomery County is among a few jurisdictions across the country – and the only in Maryland – with a local match to the State’s earned income credit, called the WFIS. All filers who are eligible for the state EITC or federal EITC are also eligible for the WFIS, which is a 100-percent match of the Maryland EITC. For the first time, those who use an ITIN to file their taxes will also receive the Maryland EITC and the WFIS, doubling their refund. For example, a Montgomery County family with one child could receive $3,618 for the federal EITC, $1,628 for the Maryland EITC, and $1,628 for the WFIS – totaling $6,874 in earned income tax credits.
Research indicates that the EITC and the Child Tax Credit are among the best tools available to lift people out of poverty. Studies of the EITC have linked it to numerous other benefits such as increased birthweights, improved maternal health, and decreases in children entering foster care. The EITC can also reduce health disparities and improve educational outcomes for children.
The CASHBACK website provides up-to-date information about Earned Income Tax Credits and free tax assistance in the county. The Community Action Agency (CAA) hosts the County’s only year-round VITA program and oversees the County’s VITA partnership. This tax season, the CAA VITA program is offering free virtual appointments to County residents with household incomes of $58,000 or less. Residents can schedule online at the CASHBACK website or call 240-777-1123.