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ABCD provides free tax assistance for residents who earned $58,000 or least in 2021

EITC, Child Tax Credit, all tax relief measures provided; program kicks off Jan. 31


January 21, 2022

Lee Phenner

(BOSTON, MA) — ABCD (Action for Boston Community Development) urges all residents of Boston and the Mystic Valley region who earned $58,000 or less in 2021 to make an appointment NOW for FREE tax preparation services that begin January 31.

ABCD’s IRS-certified tax preparers will prepare and submit tax returns, working primarily online and also by drop-off, phone and email, with limited in-person appointments for those lacking needed technology. ABCD preparers make sure that all tax relief measures that benefit low and moderate-income residents are provided, including EITC, Child Tax Credit, Senior Circuit Breaker and more. This ABCD program is part of the federal Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

To book an appointment, call your nearest ABCD neighborhood center listed at bostonabcd.org/tax-assistance or call ABCD Connect at 617.348.6329.

“The COVID-19 pandemic with its crushing variants plus soaring prices due to inflation have thrown vulnerable individuals and families into a full-blown crisis,” said ABCD President/CEO John J. Drew. “This free tax preparation service can mean the difference between paying their rent and being at risk of losing their home. It can meet needs for   immediate expenses such as food and medication and utility bills and help families find financial footing, moving forward.”

The Earned Income Tax Credit or EITC has been called one of the most successful antipoverty programs ever provided. An initiative that rewards working people, it was established to assist income-eligible taxpayers, reaching out to those in underserved communities.

EITC provides a married couple with three or more children earning up to $57,414 and filing jointly with the maximum federal 2021 EITC of $6,728 plus the state EITC of $2,018 for a total EITC of $ 8,746. For details regarding family size and payments, see bostonabcd.org/tax-assistance.

EITC can be accessed retroactively for the previous three years, so eligible taxpayers can qualify for a sizeable sum. Drew noted that ABCD has worked with people buried under a mountain of debt, people who felt they were out of options and who didn’t know they qualified for EITC. The IRS estimates one out of five eligible taxpayers will not claim EITC and will lose out on this important credit.

In 2021, families received six months of their federal Child Tax Credit in monthly payments from the IRS from July through December. Their second six months of CTC payments will be included in their 2021 tax return. The total 2021 CTC for each child under age 6 is $3,600; for each child ages 6 to 12 it is $3,000. The CTC, which ended December 31, 2021, is credited with dramatically reducing child poverty in America and child and family advocates are calling urgently for its renewal.

In addition, taxpayers who were eligible to receive the American Rescue Plan payment of $1,400 but did not receive the full amount in 2021 can claim the Recovery Rebate Credit against their 2021 income tax.

ABCD tax filers also make sure that eligible clients receive the Senior Circuit Breaker Tax Credit which provides seniors aged 65 and older with up to $1,170 in tax refunds from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This credit is available to all eligible seniors who pay unsubsidized rent or property taxes and is retroactive for three years.  

ABCD and a host of other community partners and volunteers make up Mayor Michelle Wu’s Boston Tax Help Coalition. ABCD, which played a role in founding the coalition in 2001, also serves as a critical Massachusetts component of the Internal Revenue Service Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)program. In the last 30 years, ABCD has provided more than 150,000 people with free tax help preparation across the city.

ABCD recruits volunteers who receive special training to become IRS-certified and are supervised by experienced ABCD executive staff. Along with helping others, volunteers gain skills useful in future employment.

Last year, ABCD helped 2,517 residents complete their state and federal tax returns, maximizing EITC, Child Tax Credits, Senior Circuit Breaker and more, and resulting in $6.1 million in refunds. That economic infusion channels dollars back to hardworking families and revitalizes businesses in under-resourced neighborhoods.

ABCD is part of the statewide Massachusetts Tax and Asset Consortium which includes community and civic partners, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, City of Boston, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and MassSaves/The Midas Collaborative.



About ABCD

A Massachusetts-based non-profit human services organization, ABCD provides low-income residents in the Boston and Mystic Valley areas with the tools, support, and resources they need to transition from poverty to stability and from stability to success. Each year, we’ve served more than 100,000 individuals, elders and families through a broad range of innovative initiatives as well as long-established, proven programs and services. For more than 50 years, ABCD has been deeply rooted in each neighborhood we serve, empowering individuals and families and supporting them in their quest to live with dignity and achieve their highest potential. For more, please visit bostonabcd.org