Montgomery Approves Working Families Income Supplement, Expanding Tax Credit Eligibility

Montgomery County Council unanimously approved the Working Families Income Supplement Bill, which alters certain requirements for residents to qualify for the Working Families Income Supplement (WFIS).

On March 5, 2021, the Maryland General Assembly enacted Senate Bill 218 – Child Tax Credit and Expansion of the Earned Income Credit. The emergency bill expanded eligibility requirements of the state and local earned income tax credits, which also increased the state and local poverty level credits, by allowing additional taxpayers to claim the tax credits without the federal requirement to have a valid social security number.

Montgomery County Council expanded eligibility by adjusting their qualification requirements for the County’s tax credit in order to provide more resources to county residents. According to a County press release:

Bill 14-21 amends the requirements to allow a resident who qualifies for either the federal or state earned income credit (EITC) to be eligible for the County’s Working Families Income Supplement. This amendment to the County Code expands the eligibility for residents who are individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) holders and qualify for the state EITC, and thereby, eligible for the local earned income tax credit. The bill applies to tax years 2020 through 2022 and sunsets on January 1, 2023.

Previous law required that in order to claim the WFIS tax credit, a resident must be eligible and qualify for both the federal and state earned income tax credit. It is important to note that Montgomery County is the only county in Maryland that offers a local income tax credit for its residents with a 100 percent match of the state earned income tax credit for the applicable tax year.

“It is vital that all of our families have access to the Working Families Income Credit,” said Council Vice President Albornoz, chair of the Health and Human Services Committee. “These families contribute to our economy and communities in so many ways. Ensuring their success will help ensure our County’s success.”

Councilmember Navarro, chair of the Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee added, “We need to always be on the lookout for new opportunities to bring more services to more people, and that is exactly what this bill does. As Chair of the Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee, I have consistently advocated for the Working Families Income Supplement because I see it as one of several key tools in our toolkit to elevate our vulnerable residents from poverty. As we begin our economic recovery, we need to ensure that all our residents have access to vital programs that help meet basic needs and provide a foundation for future economic success.”

Read the full press release. 
View the Council staff report.