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Get Your Refund Today: Everything You Need to Know About Tax Credits

All of us, no matter what we look like or where we live, should have opportunities to pursue our hopes and dreams. 


But today, 4 of the 10 most common jobs in the Columbus metro area don’t pay enough to feed a family of three without food assistance. Corporate price gouging is making it harder for parents to buy groceries, fill up their cars, and heat their homes. In 2022, an estimated 204,900 residents in Columbus lived at or below 125% of the federal poverty level (for a family of 3, that’s at or below $31,075 in annual income and $2,590 in monthly income). That’s not enough income to afford basic necessities each month. 


The good news is many residents in Franklin County are eligible to get money back or reduce their tax liability if they file federal income taxes by April 15th this year and claim tax credits. Here are several tax credits you could be eligible for:  


  • The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). If you worked and were paid low wages in 2023, you may be eligible to get money back or decrease the federal taxes you owe. Last year, eligible workers received an average EITC refund of $2,541. See if you qualify and estimate how much you could receive with this Earned Income Tax Credit Assistant.   

  • The Child Tax Credit. Most families with children under 18 are eligible for the Child Tax Credit, including families who don’t usually file, or aren’t required to file, taxes. You may be eligible to reduce the federal taxes you owe (up to $2,000 for each qualifying child). See if you qualify and estimate the value with this Child Tax Credit Calculator 


  • The Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit. If you have children under age 13 and paid for childcare to work or look for work in 2023, you could be eligible for up to $2,100. This  tax credit helps offset 2023 childcare expenses or the care of an adult dependent who is unable to care for themselves. See if you qualify and estimate how much you could reduce the federal taxes you owe with this CAREuator Tool 


Each of these tax credits have different eligibility levels, based on your filing status (single, head of household, or married filing jointly), income, and number of eligible children or dependents. The tax credit calculators above are a great resource to see if you qualify and to get an estimate for the value of the tax credit. 


Get your refund today 

To get the savings or cash you’re entitled to, you will need to file a 2023 federal income tax return on or before April 15, 2024. Even if you have never filed taxes or earn little to no money and are not required to file taxes, it is worth filing to get money back to help pay for things like groceries or car repairs. Here are 3 ways to file: 


  • Visit to file online with virtual help (income must be under $66,000). If you file through, you must submit your documents online by April 1 to meet the filing deadline. 



File online without assistance here (income must be under $79,000). 


Tax credits help people afford basic necessities, reduce poverty and improve overall health  

Economic security programs, such as refundable tax credits, help families afford basic necessities. In 2023, an estimated 89,500 households in Franklin County received the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and got an average refund of $2,560. This one-time tax refund took some stress off workers and parents and made it easier to pay for basics, like groceries, car repairs, or to pay off debt.  


Tax credits also reduce poverty and economic insecurity. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the EITC and Child Tax Credit together boosted 8.8 million people above the Supplemental Poverty Measure in 2022. These tax credits provided financial relief to millions of additional Americans living with economic instability. 


Several studies associate refundable tax credits with better child and maternal health. Researchers at UC Davis compared mothers who received the largest increase in financial support with mothers who received the smallest increases. They found that mothers who received more financial support were more likely to get prenatal care. Infants born to the mothers who got a bigger tax refund had the greatest improvements across infant health indicators, such as birth weight and premature births.  


When families have the resources they need to meet their basic needs, kids are healthier, get better grades in school, and earn more during their lifetime compared to kids living in deep poverty. This is why it’s so important that all eligible residents and families file their taxes and claim these tax credits.   


What can you do to help? 

Every year, thousands of children, adults, and families don’t get the federal tax credits they are eligible for. We estimate that over 24,000 households did not claim the EITC in for tax year 2022. That’s roughly $62 million being left on the table that could help workers and parents in Franklin County pay for the things they and their children need. And that’s just the EITC. That doesn’t include residents who might be eligible for the Child Tax Credit or the Child and Dependent Tax Credit. 


It's going to take all of us working together to make sure that all families in Franklin County can live with dignity and economic security. One thing we can all do today is make our friends, family, and neighbors aware of how to get a tax refund or lower the amount in taxes they owe. If you are involved in an organization that serves adults and families with low incomes, please help us spread the word and share this blog with the people you serve.  



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