This John Burton Advocates for Youth webinar shares the results of a project to increase foster youth utilization of state and federal tax credits, stimulus checks, and tax rebates. The webinar covers the benefits of tax filing for TAY and what it takes to operate a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance site dedicated to current and former foster youth.
Amid the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, JBAY established partnerships with six counties to ensure current and former foster youth received state and federal tax credits and stimulus payments only accessible by filing taxes. Free tax filing services were provided to hundreds of foster youth resulting in more than $725,000 in cash refunds. The project increased the annual income of participants by an average of 15%, with an average 2021 return of $2,396.
The webinar marked the release of a report documenting the findings and recommendations from the project. Panelists included Jenny Serrano from Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, Anna Johnson from JBAY, and Alexis Obinna, a former foster youth who volunteered with the project.