Hope and Taxes
Among the things disrupted by the pandemic was the preparation of tax returns for low-income taxpayers. Community Tax Aid was hosted this year by the Falls Church, and we served 100+ clients over the extended tax season.
Years ago, I assisted a mom whose job was eliminated; she was out of work for several months. A break in income of that length can lead to terrible consequences, including for this client eviction. My client stayed in a shelter, working her new job at CVS and trying to get back on her feet.
As a low-income person with dependent children, she qualified for the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit, and a return of some of her withholding amounting to $3,500. She shrieked, "WHAT?", hugged me, and said, "You're giving me my children back! I can get a place! I know there's an apartment near my sister, and now I have the security deposit!"
Until then, I hadn't thought about what it would mean to a client to get that amount of money all at once, but since then, I've heard other things like "I can get my car fixed and get a better job," or "I can get my kids some shoes that fit," or so many other things that can and do change their lives.
The Arlington Team of CTA gives a huge thank you to TFCE for being the kind of community where these things can happen. Should we find ourselves without a location again, we hope to have another chance to help clients here.