People with limited English proficiency often earn lower incomes and may not realize that they can qualify for the EITC and the CTC. Conducting outreach only in English will miss eligible families. It is especially important for outreach messages to emphasize that immigrants who are legally authorized to work and have Social Security numbers (SSNs) may be eligible for the EITC, and that families may qualify for the CTC even if all family members do not yet have SSNs.
- Newcomers Clubs
- Settlement houses
- Immigrant aid associations and legal services
- Organizations with bilingual and bicultural staff
- Businesses in immigrant communities such as grocery stores, restaurants, barber shops, or nail salons
- Non-English language media
1. Use bilingual materials.
Our website has flyers in English and 23 additional languages.
The IRS also provides some multilingual resources, including an interpretation service in more than 350 languages.
2. Explain tax credit information in other languages.
Use bilingual staff or volunteers to explain potential tax credits and answer questions at presentations to community groups or in one-to-one conversations. Tax rules can be difficult to understand, and some immigrants might have been denied other public benefits such as SNAP or Medicaid in the past and might assume they do not qualify for tax benefits. Immigrants may have heard – incorrectly – that claiming tax benefits could jeopardize their immigration status or their ability to become a citizen.
Reassure immigrants about public charge rules.
3. Promote multi-lingual free tax help.
Immigrants and people with limited English proficiency may be especially vulnerable to ill-trained or dishonest paid preparers. When advertising VITA sites, point out which sites provide services in languages other than English. Reach out to institutions with multilingual staff to host a site or provide volunteers.
4. Connect people to resources to apply for an ITIN.
Immigrants who want to file taxes, but don’t have an SSN, need to apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to file their tax return. Refer them to IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers (multilingual assistance is available in every office through telephone interpreters). Find out if Certified Acceptance Agents offer multilingual support (some CAAs offer free tax preparation as well). Learn more about how to apply for an ITIN.
5. Distribute materials through schools and community events.
Encourage schools to provide bilingual material about the tax credits, and work with English as a Second Language (ESL) programs or migrant education coordinators. Community events, such as health fairs, educational programs, job fairs, or holiday festivals also present outreach opportunities.
6. Work with non-English language media.
Many non-English speaking communities have their own newspapers and radio and television programs. Encourage news coverage, run ads, write articles, and develop public service spots on the tax credits.
7. Share information about the 2021 expanded Child tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit.
The 2021 American Rescue Plan included multiple temporary one-year tax credit changes. The 2021 expanded Child Tax Credit is worth up to $3,600 for each child under 6 years old, and $3,000 for each child between 6 and 17 years old. The 2021 expanded EITC is worth up to $1,500 for workers not raising children or up to $6,700 for workers raising children in their home.
Everyone on a tax return must have an SSN to claim the EITC. For the Child Tax Credit, a tax filer can have an SSN or ITIN while an eligible child claimed for the credit must have an SSN.
People who were eligible for the 2021 expanded Child Tax Credit or the 2021 expanded Earned Income Tax Credit and didn’t claim them can file a 2021 tax return by April 18, 2025. Click here to learn more about filing prior-years’ taxes.
To find local groups that provide services to refugees visit:
Visit ImmigrantInfo.org for links to local, state and national government, educational, and non-profit resources used by immigrants, advocates, caseworkers, policymakers, researchers, students and teachers. ImmigrantInfo.org focuses on resources for the Bay area and includes national resources as well.
Explore tax resources available to immigrants:
- How Do You File Taxes with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)?
- ITIN Renewals
- Tax Filing with Immigrant or DACA Status
EITC & CTC