All too often foster youth miss out on the benefits of tax filing and do not claim hundreds to thousands of dollars in tax refunds. Foster youth are leaving money on the table for a number of reasons. Neither state nor federal law require they receive help and the income of foster youth commonly falls below the IRS threshold. Additionally, foster youth often do not have a parent or extended family member to help them file their taxes, which can be intimidating and confusing. Together, these factors have led many foster youth to lose out.
This document describes nine ways tax filing benefits foster youth to help guide conversations about tax filing. This version is intended for a national audience. A California version is also available.