February 2, 2022

Eligible Residents Encouraged to ‘Get All Your Tax Credits’ and to Take Advantage of Free Tax Assistance Through the VITA Program

County Executive Marc Elrich is encouraging residents to “Get All Your Tax Credits.” Residents with household incomes of $58,000 or less may be eligible for the Federal, State and County Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC) and could get free tax assistance through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

This year presents a special opportunity for eligible taxpayers with and without dependents to increase their refunds due to increases of Federal, State and local tax credits. Montgomery County is among a few jurisdictions across the country—and the only in Maryland—with a local match to the State's earned income credit (called the “WFIS”). All filers who are eligible for the State EITC or Federal EITC also are eligible for the WFIS, which is a 100-percent match of the Maryland EITC. For the first time, those who use an ITIN to file their taxes also will receive the Maryland EITC.

"In a historic move, Maryland legislators increased the State's EITC and, for the first time, closed the EITC disparity for taxpayers filing with an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN), who previously were ineligible,” said County Executive Elrich. “In this time, when many workers struggle to pay for food and housing and may be earning less because of wages lost due to COVID-19, I am proud that our County responded, especially because 80 percent of the EITC gets pumped back into our County's economy."

Research indicates that the EITC and the Child Tax Credit are among the best tools available to lift people out of poverty. Studies of the EITC have linked it to numerous other benefits such as increased birthweights, improved maternal health, and decreases in children entering foster care. The EITC also can reduce health disparities and improve educational outcomes for children.

The CASHBACK website provides up-to-date information about Earned Income Tax Credits and free tax assistance in the County.

The Community Action Agency (CAA) hosts the County’s only year-round VITA program and oversees the County’s VITA partnership. This tax season, the CAA VITA program is offering free virtual appointments to County residents with household incomes of $58,000 or less. Residents can schedule online at the CASHBACK website or by calling 240-777-1123.