When families get free tax help and big-time benefits like the child tax credit, it relieves financial stress and improves children’s health. We want to help our patients stay as healthy as possible -- whether that’s by offering a flu shot or helping families claim the benefits they deserve. There’s no catch -- the service is free for patients at BMC. We believe it’s that important.
What do I need to file?
We’re tax experts, but you’re the expert about your family. Here’s a short list of information that will help us maximize your refund and get your taxes done quickly and accurately.
02. Should I file?
Should I file taxes?
If you’re a US citizen or legal resident, you made money last year, and you have kids, you’ll probably get money back in the form of a refund or cash benefits. If you owe the government money, filing can protect you from penalties. You can decide whether to file after you see how much you would get back or owe and talk with one of our StreetCred tax preparers. When we prepare your taxes, we won’t submit it unless you sign it and tell us to submit it.
Can I file if I'm undocumented?
Undocumented immigrants can file taxes by getting an ITIN (an Individual Tax Identification Number). Filing can be helpful if you decide to apply for citizenship or residency someday because it shows an effort to follow the law. The IRS (the government agency that handles taxes) does not share information with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). To learn more about the pros and cons of filing as an undocumented immigrant, we recommend this article. If you decide you want to file or you want more information, please get in touch and we can help.
Can I lose my benefits by filing (for example, food or housing assistance)?
If you get a big cash benefit by filing taxes, it’s important to understand how that might impact other benefits you may be receiving. Cash benefits from filing taxes (like the Earned Income Tax Credit or EITC) will not count against welfare, SNAP/Food Stamps, SSI, Medicaid, or public housing. But some benefits programs may have rules about how long you can keep it in your bank account without spending it.
Money you get back in the form of a tax refund (money that was withheld from paychecks that you get back when you file, may immediately count against your asset limit. Your StreetCred tax preparer can help you understand the breakdown so that you can decide if you want to file and how to manage your assets so you don’t lose other benefits. Here’s a more detailed description we recommend.
03. Other services
Do you offer other services to parents?
We do! As a family in the BMC Pediatric clinic, you're also eligible for free child savings accounts -- with $50 already deposited! -- and financial coaching. Call 617-414-5170 for more info or ask about it when you come in for your taxes.
What is the BabySteps Savings Plan?
BabySteps is Massachusetts’ NEW seeded college savings account program. Starting January 1, 2020, every child born or adopted who is a Massachusetts resident can get a $50 seed deposit into a college savings account.