GetCTC Outreach and Navigator Resources
Guidance for community-based navigators helping hard-to-reach clients access their tax benefits..
Need help claiming your tax benefits? To get help claiming the Child Tax Credit, stimulus payments, Earned Income Tax Credit, and other credits, go to GetCTC.org* and click “Get Started.” If you need assistance, click "Chat with us."
Each year millions of families are eligible for thousands of dollars in tax benefits like the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit, but don’t receive them because they haven’t filed a tax return. This year, more families than ever qualify for these expanded tax benefits. You can help these families by becoming a community navigator.
This year nearly every family that has a child with an SSN can claim the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) - up to $3,600 per child and up to $1,800 per child for families who received monthly payments last year. But they must file a 2021 tax return to receive their full credit, regardless of whether they filed. For many families, using GetCTC will be their easiest option.
Navigators don’t have to be tax experts. Navigators are trusted, community-based guides that help marginalized families access information and resources to claim their eligible benefits.
There are a number of ways you can assist families in accessing their benefits. It’s up to each organization to determine the level of support they’re able to provide and what would be most valuable to their target audience. Assistance could include:
- Building awareness about the benefits of filing and trust in the resources to do so
- Helping clients access online services like GetYourRefund.org and GetCTC.org
- Assisting clients in understanding their next steps
- Providing interpretation services for non-English and Spanish speaking communities
Interested in serving clients virtually? Consider volunteering as a GetYourRefund and GetCTC screener! You’ll help clients better understand our tools and what they need to successfully complete their returns through our easy-to-use online platform. Read more about this exciting opportunity!
We’ve created and compiled a number of resources that can help you assist families in accessing their benefits. You do not need to read all of the information before getting started. We suggest looking through our intro resources and then using only the resources most relevant to the type of support you plan on offering.
- Sign up for our navigator newsletter and request unique URL(s): By completing this short form, you’ll receive updates as new information and resources become available. You can also request a unique URL to help you track the number of clients served.
- Navigator Intro Guide: In this introductory guide, we’ll introduce you to the Navigator role, provide details on the services available at GetYourRefund, and some considerations when choosing the best service option.
- GetCTC and GetYourRefund Service Comparison Chart: GetCTC and GetYourRefund offer clients a variety of services to best meet their needs. This one-page chart offers additional details on the services available at GetYourRefund and information clients should consider when deciding which option to choose.
Get help during our outreach and navigator office hours: on most Thursdays from 1-2 pm ET.
GetCTC Information and Resources
GetCTC’s simplified filing tool allows families without a tax filing obligation to claim the Child Tax Credit and any portion of their missing third stimulus payment. The tool will be available through mid-November.
- GetCTC Recorded Demo: Get a quick tour of GetCTC’s simplified filing tool. The tool is mobile-friendly and available in English and Spanish. To qualify for the service, clients cannot have a 2021 filing requirement - typically this means their income is below $12,550 if filing single, or $25,100 if filing married.
- How to use GetCTC: A detailed walk-through of each page in the GetCTC application. This may be helpful if clients have a specific question about a screen or question.
- Lessons from Simplified Filing in 2021: We've compiled our learnings and best practices from the first year of GetCTC.org in this report, and are excited to share them with the field to inform our collective next steps.
Stay tuned for more GetCTC navigator resources including a recorded GetCTC Navigator training, post-filing assistance guide, and a guide to resolving common rejects.
- 2022 GetCTC Outreach Partnership Guide: Learn how you can help families in your community access the Child Tax Credit and stimulus through simplified filing.
- 2022 GetYourRefund Outreach Partnership Guide: Learn how you can help families in your community access the Child Tax Credit and other benefits through our outreach partnership guide. Please note that we will release our GetCTC Partnership guide in April or May with updated information about simplified filing.
- EITC and CTC Outreach Toolkit: Help build awareness and trust in tax benefits by utilizing this outreach toolkit from GMMB. Included in these resources are Get It Back Campaign’s EITC and CTC toolkits.
- Non-Filer Learnings and Recommendations: Read outreach recommendations in a research report from Code for America about the barriers non-filers face in accessing the tax benefits they deserve.
📌 Research has shown that state and local benefits agencies are one of the most effective strategies for outreach. If you are a local or state agency, visit codeforamerica.org/ctcoutreach for how you can get the word out.
File Myself Resources
Filing a full tax return can help families claim all of their eligible tax benefits but research shows outreach alone is not enough to convert non-filers to filers.
The File Myself option refers clients to free tax software to prepare their own taxes to claim all eligible federal and state credits. Additional assistance is available through chat and email.
- How to Host a File Myself Support Site: Learn how you can help clients access this service by setting up a File Myself Support Site. Simply giving someone access to a computer and a link to the service could make all the difference!
- File Myself Client Guide: Provides clients with tips, best practices, and step-by-step instructions to complete a basic tax return using the File Myself option.
Outreach and Navigation Updates
To improve transparency with our partners, we will host all future updates in this section of our navigator page with the posted date. *Previous updates can be found in this document.*
GetCTC Relaunches May 11 - Posted on 5/9/22
We’re excited to share the news that our simplified filing tool GetCTC will relaunch publicly next Wednesday, May 11. More public announcements will be forthcoming soon, but we wanted to make sure we reached out now to give you some details on what to expect
Like last year, GetCTC is available to households who aren’t required to file taxes — generally meaning they earn less than $12,500 single or $25,000 married, and have less than $400 in self-employment income. GetCTC allows clients to claim the CTC and Recovery Rebate Credit only. Because the tool is “simplified,” clients do not have to report income or provide tax documents. This makes the process much easier for low-income families, as we saw last year. Households who still haven’t filed at this point in the year face high barriers to filing full returns, and promoting this simplified tool is the best chance we have to close the CTC coverage gap and show all this program can do for the highest-need families.
A couple of limitations to keep in mind:
- GetCTC clients cannot claim EITC, since the simplified filing rules do not allow filers to claim EITC without reporting income.
- GetCTC does not have functionality to file state taxes. (In the meantime, families who want to access EITC or state credits can use GetYourRefund, which is still available.)
- GetCTC is not currently available to Puerto Rico residents, as per the simplified filing rules.
Outreach partners should get in touch with questions, comments, or ideas for collaboration at Navigators@getyourrefund.org