Mayor Duggan, coalition launch campaign to help Detroiters claim millions in 2023 tax credits
Mayor Mike Duggan and a coalition of community partners announced this year’s push to encourage all Detroiters to access every dollar of federal tax credits by scheduling an appointment for no-cost expert tax preparation. Through last year’s coordinated outreach in the City of Detroit, thousands of Detroit families were able to take advantage of the Earned Income and Child Tax Credit, bringing millions into their homes.
Mayor Duggan was joined by Accounting Aid Society, United Way for Southeastern Michigan, Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency, University of Michigan’s Poverty Solutions and Community Development Advocates of Detroit, as he kicked off the 2023 income tax season today and outlined efforts to urge residents to claim their credits.
“There is a lot of money Detroit families are entitled to that they can use to save, invest, buy a car or fix their home, but you have to file your taxes to receive the refunds,” said Mayor Duggan. “The City and its partners are going to make sure every Detroiter has the help they need to file their taxes, especially if they haven’t filed in the past.”
As a result of the coalition’s work in 2022, Detroiters claimed more than $260 million in EITC refunds alone in 2022, plus many millions more in Child Tax Credits. Prior to 2017, EITC-eligible Detroiters left an estimated $80 million of potential tax refunds unclaimed each year.
There are several cash payments available to Detroit families, including the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit, but you’ve got to file your taxes to claim these credits. Even if you don’t typically file your taxes or didn’t earn much in 2022, you may qualify for these payments.
Starting today, residents can call 2-1-1 or visit www.getthetaxfacts.org to learn more and schedule an appointment.
CHILD TAX CREDIT – Who is eligible?
- Children under age 17 living in your home.
- Earned at least $2500 from working in 2022.
- Children must have a valid Social Security Number (adults may have an ITIN).
- If you are the child’s primary caregiver, you are likely eligible. You don’t need to be the child’s biological parent to qualify.
"This is an important time of year for households who are working hard to make ends meet," said H. Luke Shaefer, the Hermann and Amalie Kohn professor of social justice and social policy and faculty director of the University of Michigan's Poverty Solutions. "Tax refunds help families pay down debt, invest in car repairs, and all the other things they need. We all benefit when families can access these resources."
This year, the amount of the Child Tax Credit will return to 2019 levels, which will be between $1,500 to $2,000 per dependent.
EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT – Who is eligible?
The EITC is available to working families and individuals who meet certain income requirements. The amount of the refund depends on income, filing status, and number of qualifying children claimed on tax returns. For example, a single individual with no children who works and makes less than $16,480 could get back as much as $594. A married couple with three or more children who files a joint return, with a combined income of less than $59,187 could receive the maximum EITC of $7,351.
If you worked at all in 2022, you may be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit. The Earned Income Tax Credit provides extra income to workers with low to moderate incomes, up to $60,000.
Adults and children must have a Social Security Number to apply for the EITC.
EXPERT TAX PREP AVAILABLE AT NO COST:
All residents with income less than $60,000 qualify for an expert tax preparation appointment at no cost to them. For the 2023 tax season, Accounting Aid Society and Wayne Metro are returning to primarily in-person tax prep services. Drop-and-go and all-virtual appointments will also still be available.
"Our experienced tax preparers allow clients to collect every dollar that is owed to them, so they can build financial stability for themselves and their families,” said Priscilla Perkins, President and CEO of Accounting Aid Society. “Paying rent, putting food on the table, or saving for a child’s education - clients can use that money to invest in the future."
SPREADING THE WORD:
This coalition is working to spread the word to those who are at the greatest risk of missing out, such as first-time parents who may not know they are eligible, non-traditional families where the biological parents are not the primary caregivers, families that don’t make much money and don’t normally file taxes, and families with limited English, limited education, and limited connections to social services.
We are working with community-based organizations to meet families where they are with in-person outreach at community events, flyers at community locations, direct outreach to neighborhood residents, and more.
The most important thing to know is that most Detroiters are eligible, thanks to the help of hundreds of staff and volunteers from Accounting Aid Society and Wayne Metro, for expert tax preparation at no-cost. These IRS-certified partners will assist with tax preparation in person, virtually, and at “drop & go” locations. These efforts receive additional funding and support through the generosity of partners at the Skillman Foundation, Kresge Foundation, Ballmer Group, and the W.K Kellogg Foundation.
“Our goal is to help families get the most out of their tax returns and put that money back into the household budget,” said Louis D. Piszker, Wayne Metro Chief Executive Officer. “It’s important to work with a certified preparer to maximize tax credits such as the home heating credit and dependent care. During your tax appointment, we can also talk about your property taxes, water, and energy assistance, along with financial counseling, debt reduction, and credit repair.”
Through its extensive network of community resources, United Way will again lead this coalition - making sure Detroiters are connected to the help they need.
“As financial challenges continue for so many households due to inflation and economic volatility, the Child Tax Credit and the EITC are helping families bridge gaps in their monthly budgets by putting more money back in their pockets. For many teetering on the brink of financial stability, these funds are a lifeline,” said Dr. Darienne Hudson, president, and CEO, of United Way for Southeastern Michigan. "Along with our community impact partners at the city, Accounting Aid Society, Wayne Metro, and others, we are working to help everyone access the maximum refund they are owed.”
Thousands of Detroiters have scheduled their appointments for tax help by calling 2-1-1 or going online at GetTheTaxFacts.org – you can too!