Lena* made plans to file taxes and claim her two children as dependents until her abuser told her that she couldn’t even file taxes. He tried to convince her that she had not earned enough last year and said he would claim the children when he filed.
Lena was already working with an advocate at Shelter House on domestic violence issues. When she opened up about her tax woes, her advocate talked to her about financial abuse. They discussed Lena’s options. Since she had worked and received a W2, she could file taxes and claim her children as dependents. The advocate helped Lena research tax topics and found tax preparers Lena could use.
With her new knowledge, Lena decided to file her taxes. Her abuser told her she was stupid and wouldn’t get anything back. He was wrong. Not only did Lena receive a refund, it was large enough that she opened her own savings account. Lena is gaining confidence as she learns more about taxes and saving money.