What’s an Earned Earnings Tax Credit score & Do You Qualify for It?


Nationwide Earned Earnings Tax Credit score Consciousness Day

Right this moment is Nationwide Earned Earnings Tax Credit score Consciousness Day! The Earned Earnings Tax Credit score (EITC) is the nation’s largest program for working individuals with low to reasonable revenue. In response to the IRS, about 25 million eligible filers obtained the EITC final yr, and the common EITC was roughly $2,411. Nevertheless, hundreds of thousands of taxpayers are nonetheless lacking out on this priceless tax credit score, and the IRS reviews that one out of 5 qualifying filers fails to say the tax credit score.  

Chances are you’ll marvel why somebody would miss a tax credit score price as much as $6,728 in 2021 for a household with three or extra youngsters? Properly, many individuals who qualify for the credit score miss out on it as a result of they’re newly certified or select to not file a tax return as a result of their revenue falls beneath the IRS revenue submitting restrict (for tax yr 2021 its $12,550 for these single and $25,100 for these married submitting collectively). 

On account of occasions that occurred in 2021, you could have skilled decrease revenue and could also be newly certified for EITC when you might not have been eligible earlier than, however with a purpose to get the credit score, it’s important to be sure you file your federal taxes this yr.

Need to know extra concerning the EITC? Listed below are solutions to vital questions concerning the tax credit score, and knowledge on how one can qualify.

What precisely is the Earned Earnings Tax Credit score?

The EITC is a refundable tax credit score given to taxpayers that earn low to reasonable revenue from a job or from being self-employed. Whereas it could get rid of the taxes you owe, you may additionally obtain a tax refund for the quantity of your credit score if the credit score is greater than the quantity of taxes you owe.

Who’s eligible to say the Earned Earnings Tax Credit score?

Typically talking, you might be eligible for the EITC for those who meet the revenue limits included beneath and the entire following apply:

  • You’re a U.S. citizen or resident alien all yr 
  • Have a sound Social Safety quantity by the due date fo your 2021 return (together with extensions) 
  • Should meet sure necessities in case you are separated out of your partner and never submitting a joint return 
  • You could have earned revenue from employment. Unemployment revenue doesn’t rely.
  • You possibly can qualify you probably have revenue from a house enterprise or present providers
  • You possibly can’t file Kind 2555 (regarding overseas earned revenue)

When you can have curiosity, dividends, and different funding earnings, your funding revenue should be lower than $10,000 in 2021. However most significantly, it’s important to file your federal taxes with a purpose to declare this priceless credit score.

Beginning in tax yr 2021 (the taxes you file in 2022), below the American Rescue Plan, the Federal Earned Earnings Tax Credit score (EITC) has been expanded for employees with out youngsters and practically triples the utmost credit score. Eligibility can also be prolonged for a wider vary of tax filers, together with those that are over 65 or between the ages of 19–25.

What are the revenue limits?

The bounds are adjusted annually, and for tax yr 2021, your earned revenue and adjusted gross revenue should be lower than: 

  • $51,464 ($57,414 married submitting collectively) with three or extra qualifying youngsters
  • $47,915 ($53,865 married submitting collectively) with two qualifying youngsters
  • $42,158 ($48,108 married submitting collectively) with one qualifying baby
  • $15,980 ($21,920 married submitting collectively) with no qualifying youngsters

What’s the quantity of credit score?

Your revenue and variety of qualifying youngsters will decide the precise quantity of your credit score. 

For tax yr 2021 the utmost credit are as follows:

  • $6,728 with three or extra qualifying youngsters
  • $5,980 with two qualifying youngsters
  • $3,618 with one qualifying baby
  • $543 with no qualifying youngsters

What’s a qualifying baby?

A toddler qualifies if he/she meets 4 checks for age, relationship, residency, and joint return as follows:

  1. Age: Typically, your baby should be below 19, below 24 if they’re a full-time pupil, or any age if completely and completely disabled.
  2. Relationship: Your baby should be both your son, daughter, foster baby, or stepchild (together with all of their respective youngsters). Your “qualifying baby” can be your brother, sister, half brother or sister, or step-sister or brother (together with all of their respective youngsters).
  3. Residency: Your baby will need to have lived with you within the U.S. for greater than half the yr.
  4. Joint Return: Your baby should not have filed a joint return. In the event that they did file a joint return, it ought to have been as a result of they had been submitting for a tax refund, not as a result of they had been really required to file.

When can I anticipate to obtain my refund if it consists of EITC or Further Little one Tax Credit score?  

Beneath the Defending Individuals from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, signed into regulation in December 2015, the IRS can not concern refunds that embrace Earned Earnings Tax Credit score (EITC) and Further Little one Tax Credit score (ACTC) earlier than mid-February.

The PATH Act, which applies to all tax preparation strategies, is meant to assist detect and forestall tax fraud. The prolonged refund launch additionally offers the IRS extra time to make sure taxpayers are correctly claiming the credit, in order that they get the refund they’re owed.

The IRS started accepting and processing tax returns on January 24, 2022, and anticipate mid-February for a lot of EITC and ACTC taxpayers in the event that they e-file with direct deposit and there are not any points with their tax returns.

The IRS encourages you to file as quickly as attainable so you may get nearer to your tax refund!

What if I haven’t filed my taxes for a few years and could also be eligible for EITC for prior years?

In case you haven’t filed your taxes for just a few years, this can be a good time to file your prior tax returns since you might be eligible for EITC in these prior years. In case you are due a tax refund, you could have three years from the submitting deadline to file your tax return for a tax refund or to say a credit score just like the Earned Earnings Tax Credit score. So for those who didn’t file your 2018 taxes, you’d have till April 18, 2022, to file to say EITC. 

The IRS reviews shut to 1 billion {dollars} in unclaimed tax refunds yearly, and lots of taxpayers are stunned to search out that a few of this cash belongs to them within the type of Earned Earnings Tax Credit score once they file earlier years’ returns. Prior-year returns should be mailed in, however TurboTax has earlier years tax merchandise so you may file earlier years’ taxes. In case you filed a tax return for these years, however didn’t declare the EITC and also you had been eligible, you have to to file an amended return for that yr. 

Don’t fear about figuring out EITC tax guidelines once you file your taxes. TurboTax will ask you easy questions on you and can calculate the tax credit score in case you are eligible primarily based in your solutions.

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TurboTaxLisa (200 Posts)

Lisa Lewis is a CPA and the TurboTax Weblog Editor. Lisa has 15 years of expertise in tax preparation. Her success is attributed to having the ability to interpret tax legal guidelines and assist purchasers higher perceive them. Lisa additionally has been a TurboTax product person for a few years and understands how the software program program works. Along with in depth tax expertise, Lisa additionally has a really well-rounded skilled background. She has held positions as a public auditor, controller, and operations supervisor. Previous to changing into the TurboTax Weblog Editor, she was a Technical Author for the TurboTax Client Group and labored on a undertaking to write down new FAQs to assist clients higher perceive tax legal guidelines. She is also seen serving to TurboTax clients with tax questions throughout Lifeline. For Lisa, getting well timed and correct data out to clients to assist them is paramount.


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