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For 2021 only, the IRS is letting more people without children qualify for a tax credit

This tax season, the federal government has expanded what it calls its largest refundable tax credit for low to moderate-income families.
Published: Feb. 2, 2022 at 10:39 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - This tax season, the federal government has expanded what it calls its largest refundable tax credit for low to moderate-income families.

More workers and couples without dependent children can qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), according to the Internal Revenue Service. Generally, they can now be as young as 19 and older than 64 years old, which was the previous cap. They must also have an earned income below $21,430 if filing as a single and $27,380 for spouses filing a joint return.

The IRS said the maximum EITC for filers with no qualifying children is $1,502, nearly tripling that of 2020.

Here are the maximum credit amounts for those with qualifying children:

  • 1 qualifying child: $3,618
  • 2 qualifying children: $5,980
  • 3 or more qualifying children: $6,728

Family size also changes earned income requirements to qualify for the EITC. While it varies with the number of children, all filers must make less than $57,414.

For another change this year, the EITC allows filers to use their 2019 earned income if it was higher than theirs from 2021. The IRS said this option may give filers a larger credit.

Sarah Halpern-Meekin, an associate professor at UW-Madison, said people should also note that “earned income” does not just include a “9 to 5″ job but also includes “gig work.”

Other basic qualifying rules for the EITC include: having investment income below $10 thousand in the tax year 2021, having a valid Social Security number and being a U.S. citizen or resident alien all year.

April 18 is the deadline to file tax returns or request an extension. This gives taxpayers until Oct. 17 to file returns for 2021.

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