Ready, Set, Tax Time: Three Tips for Planning Stellar EITC Campaigns

By Kate Skochdopole

With the 2017 tax season only a month away, advocates across the country are planning campaigns to protect, advance and raise awareness about tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC). To help prepare for the tax time rush, TCWF has compiled tips and newly released materials to guide organizations towards successful campaigns.

Understand the impending tax refund delays and their impact on taxpayers. We wrote last week about new provisions forcing the IRS to hold many EITC or CTC refunds until at least February 15 and how the change could negatively impact the low-income families who receive the credits. But a new report from the Tax Policy Center highlights another challenge for tax advocates: 99 percent of households are not aware of the rule and will expect their refund checks to come at the usual time. The paper also found that the lowest-income earners, including those not raising children, will be disproportionately affected by the new policy. Read more about how advocates can help taxpayers understand the delays here.

Educate the public about the EITC. One in five taxpayers who is eligible for the EITC will not claim the credit, often because they don’t know it exists. Spreading the word about the EITC will reduce the number of workers leaving money on the table. A new video from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities offers a clear explanation on what the credit is, who it benefits and where taxpayers can get help claiming refunds. You can find the video and tips for sharing it here.

Learn from the work of other organizations. Each year, TCWF releases a set of case studies that highlight EITC advocacy campaigns across the country. These case studies are jam-packed with takeaways for those engaged in tax credit campaigns. You can access all these materials here.

Want to stay up to speed on how other advocates are spreading the word about the #EITC? Follow TCWF on Twitter.