Gov. Kemp has Requested Steep Budget Cuts
The coronavirus pandemic has reduced the amount of revenue the state has been able to collect over the past few months. As a result, Governor Kemp has requested deep budget cuts to critical services and programs that will result in layoffs and furloughs, disproportionately harm working families, communities of color and rural communities and curb the state’s ability to recover.
Agencies are beginning to work on proposals regarding these cuts.
However, Georgia lawmakers have options to raise revenue instead of simply cutting services. Some of these options include lifting the tobacco tax to the national average (a step 77 percent of Georgians support), closing special interest loopholes and removing Georgia’s “double deduction”–an itemized tax break for paid state taxes that is only available to a fraction of Georgia filers who earn an average of $240,000 a year. These solutions would allow Georgia to prioritize long-term recovery with investments in health, education, the safety net and other key programs and services.
But Georgia needs your help. Lawmakers need to know that these options exist, and that their community members want them. You can take action by sending a letter to your legislator here.
Some Senators Call for Temporary Expansion of Federal EITC
Some U.S. Senators recently called for a temporary expansion of the federal EITC to help during the COVID-19 crisis. An EITC expansion would help many Georgians, such as young workers, workers without dependent children and families with the lowest incomes. They also called for expanding the Child Tax Credit by making the credit fully refundable and increasing the value for children ages six and under. You can read the senator’s request here.
The CBPP has detailed specific expansions the federal government can make to the EITC and the Child Tax Credit before the 2021 tax season in order to boost the economy and avoid spikes in poverty. Read more here.
Are You Eligible for the Federal EITC?
Special thanks to the City of Atlanta and Mayor Keisha-Lance Bottoms for reminding us all that we need to check to see if we are eligible for the federal EITC when filing our 2019 taxes. You can see if you are eligible for the federal tax credit here. Make sure to share this information; we need you to spread the word and help eligible families claim the EITC,
Get Your Refund Resources
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a new video on how to receive your economic recovery check if you did not file for income tax. You can view the video here.
Those who filed 2018 or 2019 taxes with a Social Security number or receive Social Security benefits are eligible for an economic recovery check. If you did not file your taxes because you did not have income, you can still file a simple return through July 15 and be eligible to receive a payment in most cases. The Internal Revenue Service and Treasury Department launched a new online application that allows workers who did not file a 2018 or 2019 federal income tax return to provide the information required to receive their Economic Impact Payment.
If you are an eligible non-filer looking to submit your form, or if you have already filed your taxes but do not know where your refund check is, you can visit the IRS website to get those things taken care of: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments. If you need help filing your taxes for this year or past years in order to receive your rebate, you can get free help here: https://www.getyourrefund.org/.
Partners, we’re counting on you to help us spread the word about the availability of these rebates so we can make sure they reach as many people as possible.