Washington’s Working Families Tax Credit (WFTC) officially launched February 1. For qualified families, this credit will provide for up to a $1,200 cash refund. Roughly 400,000 households will qualify. The application portal is now open on the state Department of Revenue’s website.
Today’s launch marks a major step forward in the progress Washington has made towards building an economy that works for everyone. In recent years, that effort has included changing the state’s tax system to support the economic wellbeing of working families.
In 2021, an analysis found that low-income Washingtonians pay 17% of their income in taxes while middle-class people pay 11% and the wealthiest pay just 3%. Programs like the WFTC are righting this upside-down tax structure by making Washington’s tax system less regressive.
Gordon McHenry, Jr., United Way of King County’s CEO, powerfully summed up the work that it has taken to launch the WFTC at today’s press event.
“The journey to an equitable society takes time, intentionality, good policy and good partners.,” McHenry said.
The credit was designed to be available to undocumented workers and those who use an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number to do their taxes.
Sterling Harders, president of SEIU 775, highlighted that key characteristic at today’s press event, saying that Washington built “immigrant inclusion into the launch of this credit from day one.” She noted that inclusivity was important to the coalition, “because here in Washington, we recognize the dignity of every single person in our community.”
Gov. Jay Inslee signed the legislation to implement and expand the tax credit in 2021. The effort to pass the credit was a bipartisan effort that included leadership from both sides of the aisle, including State Reps. My-Linh Thai and Drew Stokesbary.
Information regarding eligibility and an application for the WFTC can be found here: Apply | Washington State Working Families Tax Credit. Application options many of the tax software programs people use to file their annual taxes, through tax professionals, or with the assistance of a network of community organizations all across the state.