During the pandemic, tax filing has proven to be critical as it was the means to distribute over $12 billion in emergency relief. In its recently adopted state budget, California established the Foster Youth Tax Credit, a $1,000 refundable tax credit for current and former foster youth ages 18 through 25. When fully implemented, the program has the potential to provide direct financial assistance to an estimated 20,000 current and former foster youth annually.

This publication includes the findings of a six-county pilot project led by John Burton Advocates for Youth (JBAY) to ensure current and former foster youth receive state and federal tax credits and stimulus payments accessible by filing taxes. The purpose of the publication is to document the impact of tax filing on foster youth and to offer guidance to inform the implementation of the newly established state Foster Youth Tax Credit.