2023 Taxes: Accessing Free Resources and Avoiding Scams 

Avoid Scams and Fraud During Tax Season 

Those filing their taxes may be a target for scams and fraud. Remember that the IRS does not contact taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information.  

Be wary of tax preparers who promise higher returns or “free money” from the IRS. It is important to choose a tax preparer that has a valid IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number. 

Free Resources are Available: 

Free resources are available to assist eligible individuals filing their taxes. The IRS Volunteer Tax Assistance (VITA) program and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs offer free basic tax return preparation to qualified individuals. To locate a VITA or TCE site near you, visit irs.treasury.gov/freetaxprep or call 800-906-9887. 

Additional resources include: 

Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy (5535 Albemarle Rd, Charlotte) is hosting free tax filing clinics during the 2024 tax filing season. Visit vitalatino.org/cita-vita or call (980) 388-1768 to schedule an appointment at a VITA Latino clinic at Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy: 

  • Saturday, March 16, 2024, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. 
  • Monday, April 8, 2024, 1 – 5 p.m. 

Discover You Were Signed Up for A Health Insurance Plan Through the Marketplace Without Your Consent? Free Help is Available. 

If an individual discovers Marketplace fraud, a Marketplace healthcare plan that they were signed up for without their consent or knowledge, they should report this to the Marketplace. Click here for more information on next steps. 

Health insurance navigators are available to provide free assistance to those with questions concerning their taxes and health insurance coverage through the Marketplace (also referred to as Obamacare, Healthcare.gov and Affordable Care Act). Those who reside in Mecklenburg County, Cabarrus County and Union County can call 980-256-3782 for assistance. North Carolina residents in all other counties can call 1-855-733-3711 for assistance. 

Property Tax Relief Assistance

With soaring property values across the state, many North Carolinians are struggling to keep up with their housing costs, including property taxes.  But there is help.  North Carolina offers property tax relief to low-income elderly, disabled, and/or disabled veterans.   Qualifying owners may receive an exclusion of the taxable value of their residence of either $25,000 or 50% (whichever is greater) but they must apply before June 1, 2023.

Who is eligible?

Qualifying owners must meet the following requirements:

  • The applicant’s name must be on the deed or title to the residence as of January 1, 2022.
  • The residence must be the applicant’s primary residence.
  • The applicant must be a North Carolina resident.
  • The applicant must be at least 65 years of age or totally and permanently disabled. (Total and permanent disability is a disability that substantially hinders a person from obtaining gainful employment.)
  • The applicant’s income, including any spouse in the household, must be $33,800 or less for 2022.

What if I am a Veteran?

Property tax relief is also available for Disabled Veterans in Mecklenburg County.  These qualifying homeowners may receive an exclusion of the first $45,000 of the taxable value of their residence. The veteran must be an honorably discharged veteran, the home must be occupied by the disabled veteran, and that veteran must be 100% totally and permanently disabled due to a service-connected related injury.

This exemption is also available to the surviving spouse (who has not remarried) of a Disabled Veteran. This does not apply to combat veterans, unless they have suffered a 100% total and permanent disability, which is service related. There is no age or income limitation.

When do I apply?

Qualifying owners must apply with the Assessor’s Office between January 1st and June 1st.

Where can I find help?

Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy is available to assist low-income elderly, disabled, and/or disabled veteran residents prepare their NC property tax relief applications. 

Free Clinic
Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy, 5535 Albemarle Road, Charlotte, NC 28212
March 29, 2023
9:30am-12:30pm
Register: 980-256-7952

Virtual appointments are also available March 1, 2023-May 31, 2023. Please call 980-256-7952.

Clinics are also being offered to residents in Grier Heights (April 29th) and Sugar Creek and surrounding communities (May 11th).

Additional Resources:

Mecklenburg County Property Tax Relief Program

Property Tax Relief Application Form

Filing your 2022 tax returns: Frauds & scams

Be aware of fraudulent tax preparers!

The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. If you receive an unsolicited e-mail that appears to be from the IRS, Social Security Administration or other organization claiming to represent the United States government, you should report it by forwarding it to phishing@irs.gov.

Some tax scammers also use snail mail; so be aware, when you receive regular mail that purports to be from the IRS too.  If you are not sure, contact the IRS directly.

Keep-in-mind, as a taxpayer you are legally responsible for the information you represent on your tax return, even if the tax return is prepared by a third-party professional.

Do’s & Don’ts

  • DON’T use tax preparers who promise higher returns. If it seems too good to be true, it usually is.
  • DON’T use a paid tax return preparer who is not in compliance with IRS PTIN requirements.
  • DON’T fall for flyers and advertisements promising you “free money” from the IRS.  There is no such thing as “free money” from the IRS!
  • DO choose a tax preparer that has a valid IRS “Preparer Tax Identification Number” (PTIN).
    • Paid tax return preparers must have a PTIN; and they must renew it annually.  Tax return preparers must also record their PTIN on your tax return and sign your tax return as the paid tax return preparer.
  • DO review your return before you sign it and make sure your preparer signs it too.
  • DO consider going to a VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) location to have your tax return prepared for free.

Are you ready to file your 2022 Federal Income Tax return?

Tax filing season for 2022 Federal tax returns opened January 23, 2023 and will run through April 18, 2023. Here is what we think you need to know and where to find more help. 

1. Your refund this tax season may be lower.

Many of the pandemic-era and American Rescue Plan Act credits expired at the end of 2021, so many tax credits have returned to pre-pandemic levels.

Impacted credits include:

  • Child Tax Credit (CTC)
  • Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
  • Child and Dependent Care Credit

Due to these changes, many taxpayers will likely receive a significantly smaller refund for 2022.   

Some examples include:

  • Eligible taxpayers who received $3,600 per dependent in 2021 for the CTC will get $2,000 for the 2022 tax year.
  • For the EITC, eligible taxpayers with no children who received roughly $1,500 in 2021 will now receive $500 in 2022.
  • The Child and Dependent Care Credit returns to a maximum of $2,100 in 2022 instead of $8,000 in 2021.

2. The Premium Tax Credit is still available – and may be available to more taxpayers.

The premium tax credit– also known as APTC – is a refundable credit that helps eligible individuals and families cover the premiums for their health insurance purchased through the Health Insurance Marketplace. 

For tax years 2021 and 2022, the American Rescue Plan Act temporarily expanded the premium tax credit eligibility, eliminating the rule that a taxpayer with household income above 400% of the federal poverty line cannot qualify for a premium tax credit.

Premium Tax Credits and Filing Your 2022 Taxes

3. Be aware of fraudulent tax preparers

The IRS doesn’t initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information.

  • DON’T use tax preparers who promise higher returns
  • DO choose a tax preparer that has a valid IRS “Preparer Tax Identification Number” (PTIN). 
  • DON’T fall for flyers and advertisements promising you “free money” from the IRS.  There is no such thing as “free money” from the IRS!
  • DO review your return before you sign it and make sure your preparer signs it too.

Learn more about how to stay protected

4. You may be eligible for free income tax return preparation.

If your household income in 2022 was $60,000 or less, you could qualify to have your taxes prepared and submitted through the IRS Volunteer Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

Local VITA appointments

National VITA Services:

English: GetYourRefund.org

En español: GetYourRefund.org en español

If your household income was $72,000 or less, IRS Free File also lets you prepare and file your FEDERAL income tax online using guided tax preparation, at an IRS partner site or Free File Fillable Forms. There are options available in English and Spanish: Free File: Do your Federal Taxes for Free | Internal Revenue Service (irs.gov)

5. Gig workers, small business owners, and those accepting virtual payments need to start preparing for filing their 2023 Federal Income Tax Return now.

In March 2021, Congress decided to change the rule that required Third-Party Settlement Organizations (TPSOs), such as Venmo, PayPal, and Cash App, to provide you and the IRS 1099-K forms if your transactions on their platforms in a year exceeded $20,000 and your number of transactions exceeded 200. 

The new rule lowered the minimum reporting limit on those platforms to any amount over $600 for one or more transactions. That change was supposed to take effect in 2022. 

However, the IRS recently decided to postpone this change until January 31, 2024. This means the IRS is taking the rules back to the pre-March 2021 threshold ($20,000 and 200 transactions) for 2022. 

BUT the lower reporting threshold (any number of transactions totaling $600) remains in effect for calendar year 2023 and beyond. If you are a gig worker, a small business owner, or receive payments from TPSOs for business purposes, it is smart to start preparing for 2024 now by logging your transactions. 

IRS 1099-K Frequently Asked Questions

BONUS TIP: We are here to help!

If you:

  • have trouble with the IRS
  • need assistance with an audit
  • disagree with a tax bill the IRS has sent but they are still taking money from your paycheck

We are here to help!

Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy’s North Carolina Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic serves all of North Carolina by offering tax controversy services to low-income taxpayers. The Tax Clinic serves taxpayers who earn less than 250% of the federal poverty standard, including people who speak English as a second language. 

Learn more

Additional Resources

Owe taxes but cannot pay?
IRS Payment Options

Puede ser elegible para preparación de impuestos GRATUITO.

¿Necesita ayuda para preparar sus impuestos? Conéctese con estos útiles recursos GRATUITOS para comenzar. 

VITA Latino

Los centros VITA ofrecen ayuda GRATUITA a la comunidad Latina que necesiten asistencia con la preparación de sus propias declaraciones de impuestos, incluyendo a:

  • Personas con ingreso de $57,000 o menos;
  • Personas que tengan número de seguro social o ITIN (W7);
  • Personas que tienen dominio limitado del inglés.

Haz tu cita: VITA Latino

AARP

Tax-Aide de la Fundación AARP brinda asistencia de impuestos en persona y virtual a cualquier persona sin cargo, con un enfoque especial en los contribuyentes mayores de 50 años o con ingresos bajos a moderados. Los voluntarios de Tax-Aide están ubicados en todo el país, y están capacitados y certificados por el IRS cada año para asegurarse de que entienden los últimos cambios y adiciones a el código fiscal.

Haz tu cita: AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Service

GetYourRefund.org

GetYourRefund.org es un sitio web sin fines de lucro creado en asociación con los sitios de Asistencia Voluntaria a los Contribuyentes (VITA) certificados por el IRS a nivel nacional. El servicio brinda asistencia con la declaración de impuestos a las familias que ganan menos de $66,000 al año.

Tendrás que subir fotos de su identificación, responder preguntas sobre tu situación fiscal y subir tus documentos de ingresos. Un especialista en impuestos lo llamará por teléfono para hablar sobre sus impuestos, responder cualquier pregunta y completar su declaración. Sus voluntarios capacitados también pueden ayudarlo a presentar declaraciones de impuestos de años anteriores y asegurarse de que reciba los créditos fiscales para los que califica.

Visit GetYourRefund.org/ y click “Get Started”.

IRS Free File

Si el ingreso de su hogar fue de $72,000 o menos, Free File del IRS también le permite preparar y presentar su declaración de impuestos FEDERAL sobre la renta en línea mediante la preparación de impuestos guiada, en un sitio asociado del IRS o en los formularios rellenables de Free File. Hay opciones disponibles en inglés y español.

Free File del IRS: Haga sus impuestos gratuitamente | Internal Revenue Service

Contribuyentes de Bajos Ingresos de Carolina del Norte

¿Tiene problemas con el IRS? ¿Necesita ayuda con una auditoría? ¿El IRS está tomando dinero de su cheque de pago aunque no esté de acuerdo con una factura de impuestos que le envió? 

La Clínica para Contribuyentes de Bajos Ingresos de Carolina del Centro de Apoyo legal de Charlotte ayuda a los contribuyentes a comprender y manejar sus problemas fiscales. Más información sobre cómo podemos ayudar.

You may be eligible for FREE income tax preparation.

Obtenga más información en Español 

Need help preparing your taxes? Connect with these helpful FREE resources to get started.

VITA: IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

If your household income in 2022 was $60,000 or less, you could qualify to have your taxes prepared and submitted through the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

VITA sites are available in all 50 states.

Locations in Mecklenburg County: About Us (communitylinknc.org)

Outside Mecklenburg County: Get Free Tax Prep Help (treasury.gov)

AARP

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide provides in-person and virtual tax assistance to anyone free of charge, with a special focus on taxpayers who are over 50 or have low to moderate income. Tax-Aide volunteers are located nationwide and are trained and IRS-certified every year to ensure they understand the latest changes and additions to the tax code.

Make an appointment: AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Service

GetYourRefund.org

GetYourRefund.org is a non-profit website built in partnership with the IRS-certified Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites nationally. The service provides tax filing assistance to families earning less than $66,000 a year.

You will have to upload photos of your ID, answer questions about your tax situation, and upload your tax documents. A tax specialists will call you on the phone to discuss your taxes, answer any questions, and complete your filing. Their trained volunteers can also help you file tax returns for previous years and make sure you receive the tax credits you qualify for.

Visit GetYourRefund.org and click “Get Started”.

IRS Free File

If your household income was $72,000 or less, IRS Free File also lets you prepare and file your FEDERAL income tax online using guided tax preparation, at an IRS partner site or Free File Fillable Forms. There are options available in English and Spanish.

Free File: Do your Federal Taxes for Free | Internal Revenue Service (irs.gov)

North Carolina Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic

Having trouble with the IRS? Do you need assistance with an audit? Is the IRS taking money from your paycheck even though you disagree with a tax bill it sent you? 

The North Carolina Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic at Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy helps taxpayers understand and manage their tax issues.  Learn more about how we can help.

Are you ready to file your 2021 Federal Income Tax return?

Tax filing season for 2021 Federal tax returns opened January 24, 2022 and will run through April 18, 2022. With the expansion of the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit last year, there may be more money available to you than you realize! Here is what we think you need to know, links to frequently asked questions, and where to find more help. 

1. You may claim the Child Tax Credit even if you did not work or have income in 2021

You may claim the Refundable Child Tax Credit on your 2021 Federal income tax return even if you did not work or have any income. You must have lived in the United States for more than half of 2021 AND have a Qualifying Child with a valid Social Security Number. 

If you aren’t required to file taxes this year, you can visit GetYourRefund.org to get your tax credit.

Want to know more about the Child Tax Credit? Visit our Child Tax Credit help page

2. More people than ever before will qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit

For the first time, workers 19-24 and 65 and older without kids at home now qualify for the tax credit, expanding eligibility to millions of additional workers nationwide.  Additionally, if you did not qualify in the past because your income was too high, you may now qualify.  Here’s what you need to know: 

  • You may qualify for a credit of more than $1,500 if you do not have children living with you.  
  • You may qualify for a credit up to $6,700 if you are raising children in your home.  
  • You may qualify if you make $27,380 or less without kids or $57,414 or less with kids. 

Want to know if you qualify?  Visit our Earned Income Tax Credit help page. 

3. The third Economic Impact Payment (“Stimulus Payment”) does not need to be included in your gross income on your 2021 Federal income tax return

This means when you file your tax return: 

  • You will not owe any tax on the Stimulus Payment you received. 
  • It will not reduce your refund.  

Note: The third Stimulus Payment will also not affect your income when determining your eligibility for federal government assistance or benefit programs. 

If the information reported on your 2021 Federal income tax return would cause you to have qualified for a lesser third Stimulus Payment (compared to your 2020 or 2019 tax information which was used to calculate the payment you received), you will not be required to pay any of it back.  

Missing your first, second, or third stimulus payments? Have more questions? Visit our stimulus payment help page. 

4. You may be eligible for free income tax return preparation

If your household income in 2021 was $58,000 or less, you could qualify to have your taxes prepared and submitted through the IRS Volunteer Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Local VITA Tax services will primarily be provided virtually this year, but a limited number of in-person sites are also available.   

Local VITA appointments

National VITA Services:

English: GetYourRefund.org

En español: GetYourRefund.org en español

If your household income was $72,000 or less, IRS Free File also lets you prepare and file your FEDERAL income tax online using guided tax preparation, at an IRS partner site or Free File Fillable Forms. There are options available in English and Spanish: Free File: Do your Federal Taxes for Free | Internal Revenue Service (irs.gov)

5. Be aware of fraudulent tax preparers

The IRS doesn’t initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information.

  • DON’T use tax preparers who promise higher returns
  • DO choose a tax preparer that has a valid IRS “Preparer Tax Identification Number” (PTIN). 
  • DON’T fall for flyers and advertisements promising you “free money” from the IRS.  There is no such thing as “free money” from the IRS!
  • DO review your return before you sign it and make sure your preparer signs it too.

Learn more about how to stay protected

6. BONUS TIP: We are here to help!

If you:

  • have trouble with the IRS
  • need assistance with an audit
  • disagree with a tax bill the IRS has sent but they are still taking money from your paycheck

We are here to help!

Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy’s North Carolina Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic serves all of North Carolina by offering tax controversy services to low-income taxpayers. The Tax Clinic serves taxpayers who earn less than 250% of the federal poverty standard, including people who speak English as a second language. 

Contact us today: 980.202.7329 

Resources

Filing your 2021 Federal Income Tax return: Child Tax Credit
Filing your 2021 Federal Income Tax return: Earned Income Tax Credit
Filing your 2021 Federal Income Tax return: Economic Impact Payment
Filing your 2021 Federal Income Tax return: Frauds & scams
Healthcare.gov Premium Tax Credits and Filing Your 2021 Taxes
Owe taxes but cannot pay?
IRS Payment Options

Filing your 2021 Federal Income Tax return: Economic Impact Payment

Economic Impact Payment (“Stimulus Payment”) FAQ

Have questions about how to handle your stimulus payments on your federal tax return?  Missing any of your payments?  We have answers!

Do I need to include the third economic payment (“stimulus payment”) on my federal tax return?

The third Economic Impact Payment (“Stimulus Payment”) is not includible in your gross income on your 2021 Federal income tax return.

This means when you file your tax return:

  • You will not owe any tax on the Stimulus Payment you received.
  • It will not reduce your refund. 

Note: The third Stimulus Payment will also not affect your income when determining your eligibility for federal government assistance or benefit programs.

If the information reported on your 2021 Federal income tax return would cause you to have qualified for a lesser third Stimulus Payment (compared to your 2020 or 2019 tax information which was used to calculate the payment you received), you will not be required to pay any of it back.

You are not required to report the third Stimulus Payment on your 2021 Federal income tax return, but you may need to provide information to your tax preparer showing whether you received the third Stimulus Payment.  Remember to keep any notices you receive from the IRS regarding the third Stimulus Payment and any additional payments with your 2021 tax records. The IRS mails these notices to each recipient’s address on file after the payment is made. This is generally the address on your most recent tax return or as updated through the United States Postal Service (USPS).

What if I am missing my third economic payment?

Missing third Stimulus Payments may only be claimed on a 2021 tax return.

People who are missing the third stimulus payment or got less than the full amount may be eligible to claim a Recovery Rebate Credit on their 2021 federal tax return.  Enter the stimulus payment amount in your tax preparation software or in the Form 1040 Recovery Rebate Credit Worksheet to calculate your credit.

Learn more: Recovery Rebate Credit | Internal Revenue Service (irs.gov)

What if I am missing my first and second economic payments?

All first and second economic impact payments (“stimulus payments’) have been sent out by the IRS.   Missing 1st and 2nd payments must be claimed on your 2020 tax return.  You can’t claim them on your 2021 tax return.

If you didn’t get a first and second Stimulus Payment or got less than the full amounts, you may be eligible to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit by filing a 2020 tax return if you have not filed yet or by amending your 2020 tax return if it’s already been processed.

How can I claim a Recovery Rebate Credit on my 2020 and 2021 federal tax return?

For 2021:

People who are missing the third stimulus payment or got less than the full amount may be eligible to claim a Recovery Rebate Credit on their 2021 federal tax return.  Enter the stimulus payment amount in your tax preparation software or in the Form 1040 Recovery Rebate Credit Worksheet to calculate your credit.

For 2020:

  • If you did not file a 2020 tax return or successfully use the Child Tax Credit Non-Filer Sign-up Tool: File a 2020 tax return to claim the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit even if you don’t usually file a tax return.
  • If you did file a 2020 tax return or successfully used the Child Tax Credit Non-Filer Sign-up Tool and did not claim a Recovery Rebate Credit: File an amended return to claim the credit.
  • If you filed a 2020 tax return or successfully used the Child Tax Credit Non-Filer Sign-up Tool and you received a letter from the IRS about your 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit:
    • If you agree with the changes the IRS made, you don’t need to reply. Keep the letter with your tax records.
    • If you disagree, call the IRS at the toll-free number listed on the top right corner of your notice. If you received a letter from the IRS about other issues relating to your tax return, you should follow the instructions in the letter.
  • If your 2020 return or information has not yet been processed do not file a second tax return. Some returns need special handling to correct errors or credit amounts, which can delay processing by up to 120 days. The IRS is having to correct significantly more errors on 2020 tax returns than in previous years. If they correct the credit claimed on your return, they will send you an explanation.

Learn more: Recovery Rebate Credit | Internal Revenue Service (irs.gov)

Where can I find my stimulus payment amounts?

Your Online Account: Securely access your individual tax information with an IRS online account to view your first, second and third Stimulus Payment amounts under the related tax year tab.

IRS Letters:  The IRS mailed these letters to the address they have on file.

  • Notice 1444: Shows the first Stimulus Payment advanced for tax year 2020
  • Notice 1444-B: Shows the second Stimulus Payment advanced for tax year 2020
  • Notice 1444-C: Shows the third Stimulus Payment advanced for tax year 2021

Filing your 2021 Federal Income Tax return: Child Tax Credit

Nearly every family is eligible to receive the expanded Child Tax Credit, including families that haven’t filed a tax return previously and families that don’t have recent income.

Each qualifying household is eligible to receive up to $3,600 for each child under 6 years old, and $3,000 for each child between 6 and 17 years old. The credit is not a loan!

Since the American Rescue Plan expanded eligibility and increased the amount of this tax credit for children, almost all families qualify. Even families who have not filed a tax return before or do not have recent income are eligible for the full Child Tax Credit. Anyone who has a child with a Social Security number (SSN) can get it, even if they do not have an SSN themselves. 

All you must do is file a tax return this year. Families who received monthly payments last year will get the second half of the credit when they file taxes this year. If you missed out on payments during 2021, you will still get the full credit when you file your taxes this year.

If you are filing for the first time, or have additional questions, visit GetYourRefund.org, call 211 or make an appointment with your local Taxpayer Assistance Center to learn more about how to get your money!

I have children but didn’t work in 2021. Can I claim the Child Tax Credit?

You may claim the Refundable Child Tax Credit on your 2021 Federal income tax return even if you did not work or have any income. You must have lived in the United States for more than half of 2021 AND have a Qualifying Child with a valid Social Security Number.

Visit GetYourRefund.org to get your tax credit.

Remember: Any refund you receive because you claimed the Refundable Child Tax Credit is not counted as income when determining your eligibility for federal government assistance or benefit programs.

IRS Quick Info Guide

Do I have to repay my Advanced Child Tax Credit?

If you received an Advance Child Tax Credit payment in 2021 but had changes to your family, income, or living situations, then you may have to repay some or all the amount you received to the IRS. 

The amount of Advance Child Tax Credit payments sent in 2021 was based on an estimate of the amount of Child Tax Credits you could claim based on your:

  • Income
  • Filing status
  • Residence
  • Number of dependents.

If your situation changed after you received payments, then the IRS MAY have overpaid you and you may have to repay the IRS by reporting the overpayment on your 2021 tax return. 

Is there help for families & individuals who must repay the Advance Child Tax Credit?

The Repayment Protection Plan can help low-income families and taxpayers.  It is particularly beneficial to families and individuals who had a change in the number of qualifying children in 2021, such as divorced parents with children. 

To qualify for full Repayment Protection and not have to pay back any overpayments, you must meet the following requirements:

  • your main home was in the United States for more than half of 2021 AND
  • your modified adjusted gross income (AGI) for 2021 was:
    •  At or below $60,000 (married filing joint or qualifying widow or widower)
    • $50,000 (head of household)
    • $40,000 (single or married filing separate). 

The Repayment Protection amount is then phased out, or lowered, as your modified AGI gets higher.  If your modified AGI was at or above $120,000 (married filing joint or qualifying widow or widower), $100,000 (head of household), or $80,000 (single or married filing separate) then the Repayment Protection is capped, and you will have to pay back all excess payments. 

To find out more about Repayment Protection and the Advance Child Tax Credit, visit: https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/2021-child-tax-credit-and-advance-child-tax-credit-payments-frequently-asked-questions

Resources

The 2021 Child Tax Credit | Information About Payments & Eligibility
Determining Your Family’s Child Tax Credit Eligibility | Age & Income
Free Income Tax Preparation Resource: VITA Sites

Filing your 2021 Federal Income Tax return: Earned Income Tax Credit

More people than ever before will qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit this year.

For the first time, workers 19-24 and 65 and older without kids at home now qualify for the tax credit, expanding eligibility to millions of additional workers nationwide.  Additionally, if you did not qualify in the past because your income was too high, you may now qualify.  Here’s what you need to know: 

  • You may qualify for a credit of more than $1,500 if you do not have children living with you.  
  • You may qualify for a credit up to $6,700 if you are raising children in your home.  
  • You may qualify if you make $27,380 or less without kids or $57,414 or less with kids. 

To qualify for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), you must: 

  • Earn money from a job or certain disability benefits 
  • Be 19-23 years old and not enrolled in school for more than 5 months in 2021 or be 24 years or older. (There is an exception for homeless and former foster youth. Homeless and former foster youth can be 18 or older and enrolled as a student and still qualify for this credit.) 
  • Make $27,380 or less without kids or $57,414 or less with kids in 2021 
  • Have a Social Security number for everyone listed on your tax return, including a spouse or child  

You can check your eligibility by using the EITC Qualification Assistant

Make sure to file your taxes by April 18, 2022, so you can claim your credit.  Visit GetYourRefund.org to find out more about how to get this tax credit and others like the Child Tax Credit. 

Earned Income Tax Credit FAQ

I’m between the ages of 19 and 24 without dependents.  Do I qualify?

  • Some 19-24-year-olds who earn less than about $21,000 could now get money back at tax time through an expanded tax credit, even if you don’t have kids and don’t normally file taxes.  
  • Workers who are 19-23 and were a full- or part-time student for more than 5 months in 2021 do not qualify. 
  • Homeless youth and former foster youth ages 18+ who work are eligible, even if they are a student.  
  • You may qualify for a credit of more than $1,500 if you don’t have children living with you. 
  • If you support yourself financially, you can file your own taxes, even if your parents claimed you as a dependent on their taxes in previous years. 
  • Visit GetYourRefund.org to find out more about how to get this tax credit. 

I’m over the age of 65 without dependents.  Do I qualify?

  • If you’re 65 years old or older, you can now qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit even if you are retired or aren’t caring for any kids in your home.  
  • You may qualify for a credit of more than $1,500 if you don’t have children living with you. 
  • To qualify, you need to have earned income from a job or certain disability benefits, whether you are retired or not.  
  • Social Security benefits and pensions do not count as income for this tax credit.  
  • Don’t miss out on the Earned Income Tax Credit! File your taxes before April 18, 2022.  
  • Visit GetYourRefund.org or call 211 to find out more about how to get this tax credit or to get connected with local IRS-certified free tax filing assistance. You can also connect with AARP Tax-Aide assistance by calling 888-227-7699. 

I’m an immigrant.  Do I qualify?

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen or non-resident alien for all of 2021. 
  • If you have a Social Security number (valid for employment and Issued before the due date of the tax return (including extensions)), you can qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit when you file your taxes. 
  • You may qualify for a credit of more than $1,500 if you don’t have children living with you or up to $6,700 if you have three or more children. 
  • If you don’t have a Social Security number and your children do, you could get a Child Tax Credit worth up to $3,600 per child when you file a tax return with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). 
  • Visit GetYourRefund.org to find out more about how to get this tax credit. 

What income do I use to calculate my Earned Income Tax Credit?

You can now elect to use your 2019 earned income to calculate your 2021 Earned Income Tax Credit.   

  • If your 2019 income was higher than your 2021 income, you may enter the amount of your 2019 earned income on your tax return to calculate your 2021 EITC.  This is particularly beneficial for individuals and families whose employment or work was impacted in 2021 by the global pandemic or other factors.   
  • Note: You may not use your 2020 earned income to calculate the 2021 EITC.  You may only use your 2019 earned income. 

More Resources

Find out more about the 2021 Earned Income Credit by visiting: https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/individuals/earned-income-tax-credit-eitc 

IRS Earned Income Tax Credit FAQ (English)

IRS Earned Income Tax Credit FAQ (en español)