ABCD VITA Program Returns $6 Million to Community Residents, Boosts Economy

June 23, 2021

Susan Kooperstein

Lee Phenner

Staff, volunteers provide virtual, drop-off tax assistance during pandemic, ensure inclusion of EITC, expanded CTC for eligible participants

ABCD staff and volunteers sprang into action during tax season 2021, providing individuals, families and seniors with low to moderate income with expert assistance filling out and filing their federal and state income tax returns. All eligible participants received the significant Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC). ABCD is part of the Internal Revenue Service Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

Working from nine neighborhood centers and the downtown ABCD Robert M. Coard Building, ABCD met the challenges of the pandemic with virtual and drop-off programs, completing 2,517 returns that gave back $6,076,646 in federal and state refunds to low and moderate income residents of Boston neighborhoods and the Mystic Valley region.

Those returns included $1,353,994 in EITC and $437,448 in CTC credits.

ABCD President/CEO John J. Drew praised the hard work and initiative of VITA workers across the city and region. “They were there for people who need them, finding creative ways during the pandemic to bring this all-important program to qualified workers who get a considerable financial boost from EITC and CTC,” said John J. Drew, ABCD President/CEO. “This is money that working people deserve. It can provide food, rent and heat for low-income households all year long.”

Drew also applauded the recent increase in the Child Tax Credit under President Biden’s American Rescue Plan. He called the CTC an important step in moving low-income families out of poverty.

“The pandemic exposed and worsened long-standing economic issues in our society: wages that are too low, child care that is unaffordable, and a lack of paid leave to allow workers the ability to properly care for themselves and their families,” said Drew. “Policies like the expanded Child Tax Credit are essential to our economic recovery to help working parents – especially mothers – re-enter the workforce knowing their children are safe and cared for.”

The Child Tax Credit was first established in 1997. The American Rescue Plan increased the credit for eligible families to $3,600 per child under age 6, and $3,000 per child between ages 6-17. Eligible families can receive monthly payments.

Seventy-five volunteers worked in the 2021 ABCD VITA program. All ABCD volunteers and staff preparing tax returns are IRS-certified, with the skills and knowledge to guard against identity theft and include every tax advantage available.