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FINANCIAL NEWS

Working Families Tax Credit: Who qualifies for the $1,200 payments in Washington and how to apply

Washington State Department of Revenue announced a new tax credit for low-to-moderate-income households up to $1,200. Here’s a look at who qualifies.

Update:
DOR spells out requirements for $1,200 Working Families Tax Credit
DADO RUVICREUTERS

Residents of the Evergreen State now have a new annual tax credit available to them that could be worth up to $1,200. On 1 February the Washington State Department of Revenue launched the Working Families Tax Credit (WFTC) which refunds residents a portion of sales tax paid each year.

The WFTC is targeted at low-to-moderate-income households to help provide financial stability. Up to 400,00 eligible Washington workers and their families may receive money back this year. The credit is modeled after the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) program, considered one of the best tools for reducing poverty nationwide.

“We are excited to begin accepting applications for this incredible program and getting money back to those people who need it the most,” said revenue acting director John Ryser in an agency news release. “WFTC is part of a broader campaign to reduce poverty in Washington and our agency is proud to be a part of this effort.”

We’ll take a look at what the eligibility requirements are and how much you could get from the credit, as well as how to apply.

You may also be interested in: Requirements to receive up to $7,000 for the Earned Income Tax Credit

Who is eligible for the Working Families Tax Credit?

The Washington State DOR lays out the following requirements, all of which must be met, in order to be eligible for the WFTC:

  • Have a valid Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).
  • Have lived in Washington a minimum of 183 days in 2022 (over half the year). For more information on residency see the DOR Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Be at least 25 and under 65 years of age OR have a qualifying child in 2022.
  • Filed a 2022 federal tax return.
  • Eligible to claim the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) on their 2022 tax return (or would meet the requirements for EITC but are filing with an ITIN).

You can use the quick questionnaire on the Washington State Department of Revenue site to check if you are eligible.

What are the income requirements for the Working Families Tax Credit?

The maximum credit amount varies for individuals and families from $300 to $1,200 depending on several factors, like qualifying children, marital status and income level. The amount reduces, like the federal EITC, as the amount of earnings surpasses the income thresholds with a minimum refund of $50, regardless of the number of qualifying children. The following income eligibility thresholds are based on the 2022 Federal Earned Income Tax Credit and may change for future tax years.

Number of qualifying children Single Married (filing jointly) Maximum credit amount
0 $16,480 $22,610 $300
1 $43,492 $49,622 $600
2 $49,399 $55,529 $900
3 or more $53,057 $59,187 $1,200

What you need to apply for the Working Families Tax Credit

The Washington Department of Revenue will require the following in order to apply for the Working Families Tax Credit:

  • A copy of your federal tax return that you filed with the IRS
  • Your Social Security Number or ITIN, and dates of birth for you, your spouse, and children
  • Your Washington state driver’s license or ID number (if you have one)
  • Your residential and mailing address
  • Your bank routing number and account number if you choose direct deposit

How to apply for the Working Families Tax Credit

Evergreen State residents have three ways to apply for the WFTC online for free, e-file and by mail for free.

Online

Residents can apply for the credit at no cost using the MyDOR, the agency’s secure online filing system available in English and Spanish. You’ll need a SecureAccess Washington (SAW) User ID which you can sign up for on the site.

E-File

When submitting your 2022 tax declaration using federal income tax preparation software you may be able to kill two birds with one stone. Many companies have added Washington’s WFTC application to their systems so you can file your federal tax return to claim the EITC while at the same time doing your state filing to claim the tax credit.

The Washington DOR cautions that some of the e-file services may charge a fee. However, the agency provides a list of free or low-cost tax filing assistance. You can also look into the IRS’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs which offer free basic tax return preparation to qualified individuals as well as AARP Tax-Aide sites to get help with applying for the WFTC along with your federal tax return.

Mail

Washington State DOR also provides residents with the option of downloading a PDF application which can be mailed or hand-delivered at no cost. The form is available in 13 languages but eligible applicants who don’t see their preferred language can contact the agency emailing DORWFTC@dor.wa.gov or call 360-763-7300.

You will need to send a copy of your federal tax return along with your WFTC application when applying by paper.