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With the expansion of the Child Tax Credit, The Promise made a concerted and concentrated effort to reach out to Philadelphia families – working to get as many dollars as possible into the hands of those who need them most.

Part of the Biden Administration’s American Rescue Plan, the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) was a game-changer for the region’s children and their families. For many, the automatic monthly payments they received in 2021 meant not having to figure out which bills they could pay and which they would let slide. It meant more trips to the grocery store, more money for school supplies, and money in savings accounts. But the automatic payments only amounted to half of the full credit parents and guardians were eligible for. The rest would be paid out as part of families’ 2021 tax returns. However, the nation’s lowest-income families are not required to file their taxes, and advocates and organizations were concerned a large chunk of available CTC dollars would be left on the table. The IRS estimated more than 13,900 children in Philadelphia alone were in danger of not benefiting from the credit due to their guardian’s “non-filer” status.

In December 2021, The Promise started a PSA campaign to encourage individuals to take advantage of our partners’ free, confidential tax filing services. The ads were placed strategically in areas of Philadelphia served by our partners and areas with high concentrations of “non-filers” and older caretakers with children. The campaign ran for 74 days in February, March, and April of this year. We invested more than $60k on ads in bus shelters, rail stations, subway stops, and targeted digital ads. In total, The Promise reached 2.8 million individuals with our important message, resulting in 12,000 unique visits to The Promise’s website to learn more.


hear from our partner, the African Cultural Alliance of North America, on an incredible client story:

Client X is a longtime reader of the Southwest Globe Times. When she first read about the African Cultural Alliance of North America (ACANA) free tax preparation service in the Globe Times, she thought it was a misleading story and called to verify the information. But when she called, she realized the story was true – she would not have to pay fees for filing her taxes. So, Client X made an appointment to come to ACANA’s office knowing she would be receiving the best help available. When she walked into the office, she said she could not believe the customer-friendly and professional service she received. When asked about how she feels about ACANA’s free tax preparation through The Promise, she replied, “I am so grateful for the service. I will be able to save $250 to $300 in tax preparation fees.” Client X is a single parent of four children, and she received a total tax refund amount of $10,528.

Through The Promise’s campaign and the arduous work of our partners, more than 13,000 families were given free tax help, resulting in $12 million Child Tax Credit dollars being distributed to children in Philadelphia.