Nearly $150 Million in cash-back tax credits unclaimed in Colorado each year

January 25, 2019–A recent study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities revealed that tax credits, like the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit (EITC), lifted 8.9 million people out of poverty in 2017. Not only does the EITC address the immediate financial needs of families—i.e. food, transportation, housing and childcare—it helps promote work, improves infant and maternal health, and is a positive factor in students’ school performance.

Today is EITC Awareness Day, and here in Colorado it is particularly important to be part of the national dialogue to increase awareness. According to Dave Younggren, President/CEO of Gary Community Investments, which includes The Piton Foundation, “One out of four eligible families in Colorado is missing out on claiming this cash-back tax credit1.”

This year, the EITC is worth up to $6,431. The IRS estimates the average Colorado family who qualifies for the EITC gets back an average of $2,200; a total of $732M in EITC2 refunds were issued in Colorado last year. “The EITC is a great resource that benefits hard-working families that are struggling to make ends meet. We hope that as we mark the 13th Annual EITC Awareness Day, more eligible taxpayers will claim it,” said Carol Hedges, Executive Director of the Colorado Fiscal Institute.

To help families claim the EITC, Tax Help Colorado, a program of The Piton Foundation, operates tax sites throughout Colorado where families making $55,000 or less can have their taxes done for free by a trustworthy, IRS-certified tax preparer. Families can save as much as $200 in tax prep fees—the average cost to have a paid preparer file your taxes in Colorado. To find a free tax site, taxpayers can call 2-1-1 or visit

Check out our recent video where former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and former CDHS Executive Director Reggie Bicha share their insights on how the EITC supports the Colorado economy and families.

For more facts and figures, follow @GetAheadCo on Friday, January 25 using the hashtag #EITCAwarenessDay.

About The Piton Foundation
The Piton Foundation, which is part of Gary Community Investments, is a private, operating foundation established in 1976 by Denver oilman Sam Gary. It is committed to improving the lives of Colorado’s low-income children and their families by increasing access to quality early childhood and youth development opportunities and fostering healthy family and community environments. In addition to investing in creative solutions for Colorado’s low-income children and their families, Piton operates its own programs, including the Shift Research Lab, Tax Help Colorado, and the nation’s largest and longest-running Earned Income Tax Credit public information campaign—Get Ahead Colorado.