What is the Working Families Tax Credit (WFTC)?

Washington state has one of the most inequitable and regressive tax systems in the nation. This means the wealthier pay less in taxes than low income proportional to their wealth. 

The Working Families Tax Credit (WFTC) is a program administered by the Washington State Department of Revenue that helps to support the financial stability and well-being of low-to-moderate income workers and their families by providing money back on sales taxes already paid. Up to 400,000 families who meet eligibility requirements may qualify to receive refunds of up to $1,255. This annual refund is in addition to what someone may receive under the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) program and is meant to be a steppingstone to self-sufficiency! 

If you qualify, you will be getting money that you have already paid into an upside-down tax system; this is a true benefit for you. If you are a U.S. Citizen or resident alien with a social security number (SSN) you can qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit as well!


Connect with ULMS About the Working Families Tax Credit!

Our Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle (ULMS) Advocacy team can help you determine your eligibility, walk you through the application, and connect you with the resources to get free tax filing services. If you are interested in connecting with the ULMS Advocacy team to get started, please click the button below. 

Click below to get started!

watch now

Who is eligible to receive the WFTC?

Quick Tip: Don’t be fooled by the title! If you are single with no children, you can still apply for the Working Families Tax credit! You do not need a child to claim the earned income tax credit either!

get started

How Do You Apply for the Working Families Tax Credit?

Use this section to learn more about how to apply for the Working Families Tax Credit!

Quick Tip: Since you need to file your 2022 federal tax return to apply for the tax credit, try to do it all at once utilizing free tax prep assistance!


Most frequent questions and answers about the Working Families Tax Credit

Please make sure you have the following information before filing the application: 

  1. A copy of your 2022 federal tax return (form 1040 or 1040-SR) and applicable schedules or IRS transcript. You will need to know your wages, salaries, and tips from line 1z on the 2022 federal tax return (form 1040 or 1040-SR)
  2. Legal name, social security number (SSN) or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN), and dates of birth for you, and your spouse if applicable, and any qualifying children. If you are currently waiting for an ITIN and have not yet received it, check the box on Question 2 that states “I am currently waiting for an ITIN from the IRS (for myself, my spouse, and/or my child).”  WFTC applications will not be processed until the Department receives proof that a valid ITIN has been issued or renewed by the IRS. 
  3. Current mailing address and current residential address. If you use a PO box or private mailbox as a mailing address, you must provide the Department with your current residential address.  See “Residency” section for details on what to do if you do not have a residential address.  
  4. Your bank routing number and account number if you are choosing direct deposit. 
  5. Applicant signature (and/or your spouse, if applicable)

A qualifying child is usually a child under 19 who lives with you most of the year, or a child under 24 who is enrolled in school full time at least 5 months of the year. A child of any age who is permanently or temporarily disabled also meets the requirements. 

To be a qualifying child, your child must be your:

  • Son, daughter, stepchild, adopted child or foster child;
  • Brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, stepsister or stepbrother
  • Grandchild, niece or nephew

Your child must have a SSN OR an ITIN in order for you to claim them on your tax return. You can apply for an ITIN for your child using form W7 when you file your taxes. 
Learn more about qualifying children  on the IRS website.

Yes. A criminal history does not impact your ability to claim the Working Families Tax Credit. 

If you didn’t apply through a VITA site or third party tax preparer, you will still be able to apply through the Department of Revenue. This is always free. There are two ways to apply: 

Apply online: You can apply online, through the Department of Revenue portal, in English or Spanish. You will need to make a Secure Access Washington (SAW)  account, or you can use a pre-existing SAW account. Find their website here:

Use a paper application: You can use the paper application to apply. The paper application is available to download off of the Department of Revenue Working Families Tax Credit website, or you can pick one up from one of their field offices. The application is available in 12 languages. 

Applying for an ITIN is done at the same time as filing your federal taxes, using IRS form W7. When filing your taxes, you must fill out and attach form W7 to your tax return, along with your supporting identity documents or certified copies of your identity documents. People applying for an ITIN cannot file electronically and must file a paper return. The IRS will issue your ITIN number to you by mail.  Please note that it currently takes 9-11 weeks or longer to receive your ITIN due to IRS backlogs.

People applying for an ITIN for themselves, or for a dependent, will need to provide proof of identity and foreign status, either by mailing in their physical identity documents with their application for an ITIN, or by obtaining certified copies of their identity documents and including them with their W7.  A certified copy of an identity document is NOT the same as a notarized copy. People can get their identity documents certified in three ways:

  • By the issuing agency: in most cases this would refer to the consulate of the country that issued the passport.
  • Through a Taxpayer Assistance Center (see more information below)
  • Through a Certifying Acceptance Agent (see more information below)
  • United Way Free Tax Prep

In King County, United Way of King County runs an annual Free Tax Preparation Campaign, with 16 in person sites.

Other languages: United Way uses an over the phone interpretation service.

ITIN filer assistance: United Way will have select sites with a CAA present where ITIN filers can get their documents certified.  All other sites can support in filling out the W7 but will not be able to certify documents.

More information about ITINs:

No, you do not. You will need an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), which is an alternative to a Social Security Number used only for filing taxes to claim the Working Families Tax Credit. (See below for information on obtaining an ITIN)

You must have been resident in Washington for 183 days in the tax year you are applying for in order to be eligible for the credit. This is about six months. For example, in order to apply for the Working Families Tax Credit in 2023, you need to have lived in Washington for six months in 2022. This does not need to be all at once – for instance, you could have lived here for three months, moved away, and then moved back for three months.

No. Tax Credits do not count as income and cannot affect your eligibility for benefits like TANF or SNAP. 

If you have a question not answered here, you can call the Department of Revenue call center. Their number is (360) 763-7300. You will be able to select assistance in Spanish and Vietnamese. If you need assistance in another language, select “other”, and the call center will connect you to an interpreter. 

If your ITIN is current, and you don’t need to apply for or renew your ITIN, the application process is exactly the same.

If you need to renew or apply for an ITIN, you will need to notify the Washington State Department of Revenue when your ITIN is renewed in order to receive your WFTC payment. 

Learn more about renewing ITINs through the IRS website.

Under Washington State law, your information and that of your children will not be shared with any other state or federal agencies, including ICE. 

The ITIN is not an immigration-enforcement tool. The application process is designed to facilitate tax payment, and the fact that the IRS does not share applicants’ private information with immigration enforcement agencies is key to tax compliance. Taxpayer privacy is an important cornerstone of the U.S. tax system. Because applicants provide the IRS with a great amount of personal information, privacy is critical to the success of the program. IRS privacy rules are very strict and that means that ITIN filer information is extremely safe.

If you participate in DACA and have a Social Security Number that allows you to work, you can use that number when claiming the WFTC.  You do not need to apply for an ITIN. 

Yes, because you will need to file your taxes for the current year in order to apply for the Working Families Tax Credit.  

An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number is a tax processing number issued by the IRS. People who are not eligible for a Social Security Number can use an ITIN to file their US Taxes. People who use an ITIN to file their taxes include undocumented immigrants, some survivors of domestic violence, certain student visa holders, and some spouses and children of people on employment visas.  An ITIN is used only for filing taxes or opening an interest bearing U.S. bank account. Learn more about ITINS from the IRS

No. Tax credits do not qualify as public benefits and receiving the WFTC cannot disqualify you from receiving a visa or green card under the public charge rule. 

You can apply. However, if you are going to file married filing jointly, in order to claim the Working Families Tax Credit, your spouse will need to apply for an ITIN when you file your Federal Tax Return.

The Working Families Tax Credit Coalition is a coalition of organizations spanning economic and racial justice groups, immigrant rights advocates, labor unions, direct service providers, domestic violence advocates, and more.

Our goal is to work together to ensure communities most impacted by Washington’s upside-down tax code receive cash in hand. Membership in the coalition is free and open to any organization, community group, or individual who shares this goal.

We believe that the tax code has the potential to be used as a tool for undoing racist legacies. We know that direct cash payments – like the Working Families Tax Credit – are a powerful way to help return economic stability to low income families, immigrant communities, and communities of color across Washington.

Learn more and sign up for updates below!