Awareness-Education Disconnect: Abbas – International Student
International Student Connect (ISC) – a non-profit organization that supports international students at the local university – has been your CRA bank partner for several years. Tanya, an ISC employee, emails your bank’s CRA manager to set up a meeting about how to assist a third-year international graduate student named Abbas. Abbas and his wife have three children (two – born abroad, and one – born in the US this year). Abbas and his wife together are primary clients at your bank. Tanya communicates that she read in the local newspaper that families like Abbas could benefit from the Child Tax Credit (CTC). She is concerned that Abbas’s international student status and non-filer tax status might prevent him from receiving the CTC. In her email, Tanya urgently inquires about how to assist Abbas to receive the CTC benefit for his newborn child. Tanya’s email also notes that she works with dozens of families that are in the same boat and need assistance.
Awareness of CTC and the particulars of how to enroll can be quite daunting. The CTC is not just limited to parents with SSNs; Individual Tax Identification Numbers are acceptable as well (for filing). The SSN is REQUIRED for the dependent child.
CTC opens the door for your bank to a partner with CBOs that may also serve your clients. In this case, strengthening the CBO regarding CTC will have collateral affects that empower your clients financially.
The Campaign helps eligible individuals claim tax credits and use free tax filing assistance. They offer resources to assist people with Individual Tax Identification Numbers (ITIN) navigate the U.S. tax system
The IRS has developed a website to assist families claim the Child Tax Credit. The site has three portals: 1) Manage Payments Tool; 2) Non-Filer Enrollment Tool; and 3) Eligibility Assistant Tool
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance
The VITA programs trains volunteers to provide free tax help for eligible families who need in-person assistance preparing their tax returns. These committed volunteers are assigned to work with a sponsoring organization
Potential Next Step
Solicit associates from your bank to be trained as a VITA volunteer, and connect them to sponsoring organizations that are in your Community-Based Organization partner network. Enable these VITA volunteers to become tax and CTC resources.