Policy Priorities

Policy Priorities image of kids

Tax & Benefits Outreach

For the past several years, CDF has helped increase the number of eligible families recieving the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and other related benefits. Whenever possible, CDF works with and through a range of existing federal, state and local offices, faith- and community-based organizations and local businesses to reach as many families as possible. Key components of the outreach program include:

  • educating the public about the benefits available to them
  • promoting and increasing the number of free tax preparation sites across the country, including Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites
  • expanding the capacity of VITA sites to link families with other benefits for which they might be eligible

Supporting Financial Literacy Outreach

Providing financial literacy information and advice to families eligible for the EITC was another important part of CDF's initiative. Low-income working families often pay high interest fees to get paychecks cashed or tax refunds expedited. With the right information and assistance, they can avoid predatory lenders, are able to budget their finances and can make better use of their EITC refund. CDF has issued a report warning about the dangers of Refund Anticipation Loans (RALs). Thanks to the generous support of JPMorgan Chase and the Freddie Mac Foundation, CDF has developed materials and programs to deliver these necessary financial skills.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: Tax and Benefits Resources Available in Your State and Community

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama helps alleviate the stress on families and communities by investing in improvements for a range of needed services and supports. Learn what is available in your state and community and how to use these funds to invest in tax and benefits services by visiting the Child Tax Credit and Other Tax Credits for Working Families section of our guide, The New Economic Recovery Law: Resources to Help Children and the Economy.