"Domestic violence (DV) occurs across the socio-economic spectrum, but low-income survivors face unique challenges and barriers to ending an abusive relationship. Leaving an abusive partner may mean that a survivor loses access to their income, shared housing, employment, health care, and more. DV may also result in survivors falling into poverty despite not previously being considered low income due to medical, legal, relocation, transportation, or child care costs. In some cases, a survivor may be even more vulnerable because their partner has exerted control over assets and finances.
Refundable tax credits can improve a survivor’s economic security
Refundable tax credits like the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) can keep families out of poverty and improve children’s health and education outcomes. Refunds from refundable tax credits can provide much-needed economic support for survivors that allows them to open a bank account, put down a security deposit, or meet other pressing needs to help them leave an abusive relationship.
The refunds from these family tax credits can be substantial, especially for survivors with children. For tax year 2018, the refundable EITC is worth a maximum of $6,431 (depending on income and the size of the family), and the EITC Assistant helps determine eligibility for EITC. (And some states offer their own EITCs based on the federal credit.) In addition, the CTC is worth up to $2,000 per child (refundable up to $1,400) for tax year 2018."