Workers who are not proficient in English often earn lower incomes and may not understand that they can qualify for the EITC and the CTC. Conducting outreach only in English will miss eligible workers. 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 ethnic grocery stores or restaurants, barber shops, or nail salons
- Non-English language media
1. Use bilingual materials.
Our website has flyers, posters, and envelope stuffers in English and Spanish, as well as flyers in 22 additional languages.
2. Explain tax credit information in other languages.
Dispatch bilingual staff or volunteers to explain the tax credits and answer questions at presentations to community groups or in one-to-one conversations. Immigrant workers may have trouble understanding complex tax rules or they 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 incorrectly believe that claiming tax benefits could jeopardize their immigration status or their ability to become a citizen.
3. Promote multi-lingual free tax help.
Immigrant workers and workers who have limited English proficiency may be especially vulnerable to ill-trained or dishonest paid preparers. When advertising VITA sites, indicate which sites provide services in languages other than English. Reach out to institutions with multi-lingual staff to host a site or provide volunteers.
4. 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.
5. 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.
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, policy-makers, researchers, students and teachers. ImmigrantInfo.org focuses on resources for the Bay area, but includes national resources as well.
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