The Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) has begun sending text message reminders to potentially-eligible SNAP, TANF, and Medicaid enrollees from 2019. The messages will provide information about the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and options for assistance.
The EITC is a federal, refundable tax credit designed to support low- to moderate-income working families. It encourages and promotes work and offsets federal payroll tax and income taxes. Individuals and families with annual incomes below $56,000 (depending on marital status and number of dependent children) may be eligible. The EITC has been shown to be one of the most effective policy tools for lifting people out of poverty. VDSS is required by state law to notify individuals participating in Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), and/or Medicaid who appear to be eligible for the EITC and did not claim it the prior year.
VDSS began sending the text messages on February 5, 2020 and will continue July 15, the extended tax filing deadline. The text messages include the phrase: “This is Gloria from Va Dept of Social Services…”. These messages are not a scam or phishing. Individuals who would like more information or help regarding EITC can reach out to 2-1-1 Virginia.
Important information about the text messages and filing taxes:
- The text message is a legitimate message sent from the Virginia Department of Social Services.
- The free tax preparation sites are closed due to the Governor's orders. Callers may call 2-1-1 after June 11 to find out if a site near them is open.
- The federal tax deadline has been extended until July.
- The IRS website allows for free tax filing.
- If no tax is owed this year, filers have up to three years to file and still claim the EITC.