DWD, DOR: State agencies working together to increase tax credit claims

Rose Lynch, DWD Communications Director, 608-266-6753
Jessica Iverson, DOR Communications Officer, 608-261-2271

Revenue, Workforce Development project creating greater awareness of credits for a group of low-income working families

MADISON-In an effort to increase awareness of tax credits among lower income families and to encourage participation in these credits, the Department of Revenue and the Department of Workforce Development are collaborating on a new project to identify those who are eligible for the credits but who aren’t claiming them. This year in Wisconsin, it is estimated that there will be more than $50 million in unclaimed revenue related to credits.

“Together with the Department of Workforce Development, we are creating a greater awareness among Wisconsin’s low-income working families that they are eligible for these tax credits,” said Secretary of Revenue Michael L. Morgan. “This is money that should be going to families who need it.”

In its first year, the project will target a specific group of low income working families, W-2 participants. Many W-2 participants are eligible for the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Wisconsin Earned Income Credit (EIC), Homestead Credit and the Federal and State Child Care Credits but are not claiming them. The project will inform W-2 participants of their eligibility for tax credits, and will also encourage them to seek out free tax preparation help from Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites.

Under the new project, DOR and DWD will identify individuals who are eligible for the credits but who haven’t been claiming them. The identified individuals will receive a letter detailing how to apply for these credits, receive returns from prior years and find a nearby VITA site. Participating agencies will also provide a follow-up contact to these individuals.

“These credits make a big difference for Wisconsin’s working families,” said Secretary of Workforce Development Roberta Gassman. “This project is yet another way to ensure that families are aware of their eligibility for these credits.”

The project will run in part of Milwaukee County and in Dane County this year and, if successful, will be implemented for W-2 participants statewide in the future. It may also be expanded to include other aid programs for lower income families.