Posted on March 8, 2023 at 6:00 am
This time of year, many of us are working on filing our federal income taxes—and, if we’re lucky, figuring out what to do with a refund.
But did you know that, starting this year, Washington state residents may also qualify for an additional tax credit from the Washington State Department of Revenue?
To learn more about this exciting program, called the Working Families Tax Credit, I talked with Raquel Rice from the Washington State Department of Revenue.
Stacey: What sort of work do you do with the Washington State Department of Revenue?
Raquel: I’m the Outreach and Community Partnerships Specialist, and I get to work on a variety of different projects and programs. Right now, my focus is raising awareness about the Working Families Tax Credit and helping individuals apply for the program.
Stacey: What is the Working Families Tax Credit?
Raquel: The Working Families Tax Credit (WFTC) is a new tax refund that helps Washingtonians get more money back at tax time. It’s modeled after the federal Earned Income Tax Credit and returns a portion of sales tax paid each year by Washington residents. The purpose of the WFTC is to help minimize poverty by supporting the financial stability of low-to-moderate income Washington families. It also aims to stimulate the local economy and promote racial equity.
Stacey: Who is eligible to receive this tax credit?
Raquel: There are three main eligibility requirements to qualify for the Working Families Tax Credit:
Stacey: Are there any other requirements people should be aware of?
Raquel: Applicants will need either a valid Social Security Number (SSN) or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), and they’ll also need to meet certain income requirements.
Stacey: What if someone doesn’t have either an SSN or ITIN? Are they out of luck this year?
Raquel: No, they aren’t! They can file an application for an ITIN with the Internal Revenue Service. If you need help filing an ITIN, the Department of Revenue is working with community outreach groups who will provide assistance. And you can submit your WFTC application even if you haven’t received your ITIN from the IRS, as long as the IRS has received your ITIN application.
Stacey: What advice do you have for someone who thinks that they may not qualify due to the income requirements—if they think they made too much money in 2022?
Raquel: They should apply for the Working Families Tax Credit anyway. Let the Department of Revenue make the determination and say no if that is the case. It could be that you do qualify for a tax credit, and if you don’t apply, then you’d miss out on it.
Stacey: How and when can people apply for the tax credit?
Raquel: There are a number of ways to apply! You can apply online at workingfamiliescredit.wa.gov.
You can also visit the website to print a paper application. Paper applications should be mailed to:
Washington State Department of Revenue
Attn: Working Families Tax Credit Division
PO Box 47468
Olympia, WA 98504-7468
If you prefer, you can visit our local Department of Revenue field office, located at 1330 N Washington St, Suite 5600, in Spokane. Staff there can help you with your application.
You can also connect with community-based organizations we’ve partnered with throughout the state. In Spokane, those organizations are Latinos en Spokane (1502 N Monroe Ave; 509.558.9359) and Spokane United We Stand (10922 E 47th Ave, 509.928.9664).
Stacey: Is there a deadline to apply?
Raquel: The deadline for the 2022 tax credit is December 31, 2023.
Stacey: If people need help applying, where can they find assistance?
Raquel: Besides the organizations we’ve already talked about, we’ll be offering WFTC Application Assistance sessions at many District libraries beginning in March. You can sign up for an appointment on the library’s event calendar.
I also want to mention the WFTC application is available in over a dozen languages, including Spanish, Russian, and Marshallese. And many of my colleagues helping with the appointments during the library programs are bilingual and able to help in Spanish. We can get language assistance over the phone with other languages as well.
Stacey: What should people bring with them to their appointment?
Raquel: Whether you’re getting help with your application or filling it out on your own, you’ll need the following items:
Stacey: If people have other questions that we didn’t cover, where can they get more information about the Working Families Tax Credit?
Another good resource is the staff at the Department of Revenue. You can call the Spokane office on Monday through Friday at 509.327.0200. Staff are very knowledgeable and can answer all of your questions and help you with your application over the phone as well.
You can sign up online to get help with filling out your WFTC application and submitting it at the following library program dates.
Working Families Tax Credit Application Assistance
Get help with your application for the Washington state Working Families Tax Credit and with submitting it online. You need to bring a digital or hard copy of your Federal Income Tax return for 2022, your Washington state ID or driver’s license, and your Social Security number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification number (ITIN). If you prefer to receive funds through a direct deposit, you’ll also need your bank account information. Adults
Registration is required. Sign up for an appointment on our online events calendar.
Wednesday, Mar 22, 9:30am–12pm
Wednesday, Apr 5, from 10am–12:30pm
Friday, April 21, 10am–12:30pm
Monday, May 22, 9:30am–11:30am
Tuesday, May 30, 1–3pm
Wednesday, Jun 7, 10am–12:30pm
Monday, Jun 12, 10:30am–12:30pm
Stacey Goddard loves being able to work with small business owners and people looking to change careers as part of her job as a Public Services Manager for Spokane County Library District. She’s also a fan of helping folks increase their financial literacy, especially after her own ill-advised spending decisions in her 20s and 30s! Outside of work, Stacey enjoys buying cookbooks to browse and probably never use, binge-watching fashion competition shows, and planning her next vacation to the Oregon Coast.