In early September, the North Carolina legislature passed a coronavirus relief act providing for $335 Extra Credit Grant payments to North Carolina residents meant to offset the costs of virtual learning for their children during the pandemic. According to the act, most North Carolina households with children will automatically receive checks for $335 from the state this fall if they filed a state tax return by the October 15 deadline and met the other program eligibility requirements. Checks are in the process of being mailed and should be received on or before December 15.
Other individuals who were not required to file a state tax return had until October 15 to visit the North Carolina Department of Revenue website and complete an online Extra Credit Grant application or print and mail the application to the North Carolina Department of Revenue.
Application Deadline for Extra Credit Grant Extended for Some Low-Income Families
As the result of litigation brought by Robinson Bradshaw on behalf of Legal Aid of North Carolina, the Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy and several low-income families, on November 6, 2020, a court entered an order that reopened and extended the application period for eligible individuals to apply for the $335 Extra Credit Grant. These individuals may apply for the grant through December 7, 2020. The system to apply for $335 Extra Credit Grant can be found at 335forNC.com
- An applicant must not have filed a 2019 state tax return solely because the individual’s gross income for the 2019 taxable year did not exceed the state filing requirements for the individual’s filing status (generally $10,000 per year if single and $20,000 per year if married).
- An applicant must have met the all other requirements referenced in the law, including having at least one qualifying child age 16 or under for the 2019 calendar year and have been a North Carolina resident for all of the 2019 calendar year.
Here are answers to frequently asked questions regarding the payments:
My spouse and I live together, can we each receive a $335 payment?
No. The grant is limited to one check for each household.
When will I receive my $335 payment?
The North Carolina Department of Revenue will send $335 Extra Credit Grants to all eligible applicants as soon as possible.
Do I need to apply again if I already applied?
No. Only individuals who did not previously apply may submit an application during the extended application period. Eligible individuals who have already submitted an application will receive a check in the coming weeks.
I am eligible for the Extra Credit Grant. How much will I receive?
If you are eligible for the Extra Credit Grant, you will receive a one-time payment of $335.
I am eligible for the Extra Credit Grant. I have two Qualifying Children. Will I receive $335 for each Qualifying Child?
No. The grant amount is $335 per eligible individual, not for each Qualifying Child. The NCDOR does not control the amount of the Extra Credit Grants. The law provides the grant amount of $335 per eligible individual, even if the eligible individual has two or more Qualifying Children.
I am divorced. Am I eligible to receive the Extra Credit Grant?
This determination is based on Federal law. In addition to meeting other eligibility requirements, generally, your child must be claimed by the “custodial parent” which is the parent with whom the child lived for the longer period during the year. However, the custodial parent may execute Federal Form 8332 which states that the custodial parent will not claim such credit and the noncustodial parent can attach the form and claim the child. Whichever parent or guardian has the authority to claim the child on their Federal income tax return will have the authority to claim the child on the state income tax return and would be able to receive the Extra Credit Grant.
I filed my 2019 North Carolina individual income tax return, and I reported my filing status as “married filing jointly.” Will my spouse and I each receive an Extra Credit Grant?
No. For purposes of eligibility for the ECG, spouses who filed a joint 2019 North Carolina individual income tax return are treated as one eligible individual.
I filed my 2019 North Carolina individual income tax return. The software package I used did not report a Qualifying Child on Line 10a, even though I had a Qualifying Children for whom I was allowed a Federal Child Tax Credit on my 2019 Federal tax return. Am I eligible to receive the automatic grant award if I amend my 2019 D-400 on or before October 15, 2020, solely to correct the entry on Line 10a?
Yes, BUT the deadline to amend has passed.
My spouse is active-duty military. Are there special rules for determining if I am a resident of North Carolina?
Yes. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act provides that a spouse shall neither lose nor acquire domicile or residence in a state when the spouse is present in the state solely to be with the servicemember in compliance with the servicemember’s military orders if the residence or domicile is the same for both the servicemember and the spouse. For additional information see the NCDOR’s website.
I did not have a 2019 North Carolina filing requirement, so how do I choose my filing status?
You must choose a filing status you would have been entitled to use if you had filed a 2019 federal income tax return.
You must select one of the following:
Married Filing Jointly. If you are married and both you and your spouse agree to a joint return, you may choose “married filing jointly” as your filing status. You may also choose this filing status if your spouse died during 2019 and you did not remarry before the end of 2019.
Married Filing Separately. If you are married, and you and your spouse do not agree to a joint return, you must choose “married filing separately” as your filing status, unless you qualify to choose “head of household” as your filing status.
Head of Household. If you meet all the following requirements, you may choose “head of household” as your fling status:
• You are unmarried or considered unmarried on the last day of 2019.
• You paid more than half of the cost of keeping up a home for 2019.
• A qualifying person lived with you in the home for more than half of 2019 (except for temporary absences, such as school).
Qualifying Widower/Surviving Spouse. If you meet all the following requirements, you may choose “qualifying widower/surviving spouse” as your fling status:
• You were entitled to file a joint return with your spouse for the year your spouse died.
• Your spouse died in 2017 or 2018 and you didn’t remarry before the end of 2019.
• You have a child or stepchild (not a foster child) whom you can claim as a dependent or could claim as a dependent except that, for 2019:
a. The child had gross income of $4,200 or more,
b. The child filed a joint return, or
c. You could be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s return.
• The child lived in your home the entire 2019 calendar year, except for temporary absences, such as school.
• You paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for the year.
Single. If you are unmarried or considered unmarried and you do not qualify for another filing status, you must choose “single” as your filing status.
If you need help determining which filing status you should choose or who is a considered a “qualifying child” for purposes of your 2019 filing status, see IRS Publication 17, Tax Guide 2019 or IRS Publication 501 for 2019.
How do I calculate my “gross income”?
To calculate your 2019 gross income, total all of items of income you (and your spouse, when applicable) received in 2019. Items of income include all money, goods, property, and services received during 2019, unless the item of income is exempt from tax. (For more information on what types of income are taxable, see IRS Publication 17, Tax Guide for 2019.)
Include part of your social security benefits in gross income if:
• You were married, filing a separate return, and you lived with your spouse at any time during 2019; or
• Half of your social security benefits plus your other gross income and any tax-exempt interest is more than $25,000 ($32,000 if married filing jointly).
If either (1) or (2) applies, see the Instructions for Forms 1040 and 1040-SR or Publication 915, Social Security and Equivalent Railroad Retirement Benefits, to figure the social security benefits you must include in gross income.
How do I get help?
If you have not already applied for an Extra Credit Grant and are eligible, applications are now available until December 7th. For more information and to apply visit 335forNC.com.
Additional details about eligibility can be found on NCDOR’s Extra Credit Grant FAQ page.