tim-coray-2-1By Tim Coray

UWSL Content Marketing Manager

Amber is a single mother who works setting up and taking down events at the Salt Palace Convention Center. For the past two years, Amber has received help preparing her income taxes through VITA, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.

VITA volunteers have assisted Amber though the complicated tax filing process, ensuring she receives the credits she qualifies for, including the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC). These credits help Amber manage the big costs of raising three kids as a single mother.

“Getting by on one income is a challenge, but last year, I was able to use my tax return to pay off my car and pay down student loans.”

2017 EITC Amber Car Edited

Research from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities highlights that working-family tax credits such as the EITC and CTC promote work, reduce poverty, and support children’s development. As Amber’s case shows, “single mothers are the group most likely to be eligible for the EITC because they tend to have low earnings and qualifying children.”

The EITC incentivizes work by increasing commensurate with a taxpayer’s earnings. For a person filing alone, the credit can be as high as $6,269, depending on his or her wages and number of children.

In addition to using her return to get out of debt, Amber is able to hang on to some of the money to offset unforeseen expenses. “The credits help me get ahead and give me a cushion in case something happens.”

Working tax credits benefit the whole family. Children whose family receive these credits are more likely to have higher test scores, graduation rates, and college attendance rates.

Amber’s children benefit from these credits. Because of the credits, Amber’s children are able to participate in a variety of enriching extracurricular activities that help them grow. The EITC and CTC also help alleviate the financial stress that comes with being a single mother.

2017 EITC Amber Edited

Amber heard about VITA, EITC, and CTC from a neighbor in her apartment complex. Learn more about these services and credits at utahfreetaxhelp.org!

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