Millions of low-income people in the U.S. eligible for tax refund boost this year

Taxpayers can receive a credit worth up to $1,500
Posted at 1:59 PM, Feb 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-04 17:00:44-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — If you haven’t already, it’s time to start preparing to file your taxes.

This year, millions of low-income families are eligible for a one-time tax break that could save them big bucks.

The Federal Earned Income Tax Credit, which is aimed at people in the lowest-paid jobs, is being tripled for a group of workers who typically don't benefit much from it: childless adults.

For the tax year that just ended, low-income workers without kids can receive a credit worth up to $1,500 — nearly triple what the credit was worth in 2020, thanks to the American Rescue Plan.

The plan allows anyone 19 and older, who's not a full-time student and has earnings, to claim the expanded credit.

18-year-olds who are without a home or who have been in foster care are also eligible.

Previously, only workers ages 25 to 64 could claim it.

Taxpayers without children who earned up to $21,430 from a job, gigs or self-employment can claim the credit when they file their tax returns this season.

In most years, workers earning more than about $16,000 are ineligible for the EITC.

Taxpayers can also choose to use income from 2019 to qualify for the credit — useful for those who lost their jobs in 2020.

Policy experts estimate that between 17 and 20 million workers will benefit from the expanded credit.

This story was first reported by Aaron Cantrell at WTVF in Nashville, Tenn.

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The filing deadline to submit 2021 tax returns or an extension to file and pay tax owed is Monday, April 18, 2022, for most taxpayers. By law, Washington, D.C., holidays impact tax deadlines for everyone in the same way federal holidays do. The due date is April 18, instead of April 15, because of the Emancipation Day holiday in the District of Columbia for everyone except taxpayers who live in Maine or Massachusetts. Taxpayers in Maine or Massachusetts have until April 19, 2022, to file their returns due to the Patriots' Day holiday in those states. Taxpayers requesting an extension will have until Monday, October 17, 2022, to file.