IMPORTANT CHILD TAX CREDIT UPDATE
 
Simplified electronic tax filing is available through November 15, 2021 for families who still need to claim their advance Child Tax Credit.
 
Visit getctc.org/en to file now.
 
MyFreeTaxes closed for this tax season 10/15/2021. GetCTC is currently the only available e-filing option to claim the advance Child Tax Credit. If you miss this deadline, you will need to claim your full Child Tax Credit when you file taxes in early 2022. MyFreeTaxes will reopen in 2022 to allow users to once again file a simplified or full return.
 

 

HELPING STRUGGLING FAMILIES RECOVER WITH FREE TAX PREP

This year, Tax Day will be one of the most important of the century so far. That’s because the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a financial toll on so many families.

In 2019, free tax-prep programs run by United Ways across the U.S. brought back $1.85 billion to local communities, largely thanks to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC).


TWO WAYS TO FILE YOUR TAXES FOR FREE


VOLUNTEER INCOME TAX ASSISTANCE (VITA) 

The VITA program provides individuals and families who earn less than $57,000 annually with free, reliable assistance in filing federal tax returns. In 2019, thousands of VITA volunteers prepared hundreds of thousands of tax returns nationwide resulting in more than $1.85 billion returning to local communities. These dollars are spent to cover child care expenses, pay bills, as well as to save for the future. Call 2-1-1 to make an appointment and find a free tax preparation site near you (dial 2-1-1 or 1-888-696-9211).
 

Jody’s two children were accepted to multiple universities. She wanted to help them make the best decisions they could, but long road trips, overnight stays, and time away from work for campus tours can be near impossible for a hardworking single mother. Then Jody had her taxes prepared at her local United Way VITA site. Jody used the EITC tax credit she received for college visits, which helped her son and daughter find the campuses that were the best fit. Now Jody can feel confident that she did everything she could for her kids to have a good shot at a better life.

 

MYFREETAXES.COM 

MyFreeTaxes is an easy way for people to file their taxes for free. United Way offers this free online tax preparation software to every household with a simple return. You can file your taxes completely online from the comfort of your
home. Visit myfreetaxes.com to get started.

Destiny, a financial aid advisor, always had someone else prepare her taxes. It was expensive and she felt like they missed several deductions. Then she discovered MyFreeTaxes. The online platform walked her through tax preparation step-by-step and even makes it simple to find past returns on her computer. Destiny said she’s happy to find something that saved her time and money and plans to continue using MyFreeTaxes.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION TO HELP YOU NAVIGATE TAX SEASON


Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC)

The Earned Income Tax Credit or EITC is the federal government’s largest benefit for workers. Last year 22 million people received a tax credit through EITC. EITC tax credits help low- to moderate-income workers and families get a tax break. If you qualify, you can use the credit to reduce the taxes you owe – and maybe increase your refund.

Earned Income and adjusted gross income (AGI) must each be less than:

  • $50,594 ($56,844 if Married Filing Jointly) with three or more qualifying children
  • $47,440 ($53,330 if Married Filing Jointly) with two qualifying children
  • $41,756 ($47,646 if Married Filing Jointly) with one qualifying child
  • $15,820 ($21,710 if Married Filing Jointly) with no qualifying child

Tax Year 2020 maximum amount of credit you can claim:

  • $6,660 with three or more qualifying children
  • $5,920 with two qualifying children
  • $3,584 with one qualifying child
  • $538 with no qualifying child

 

CARES Act Charitable Deduction

On March 27, 2020, Congress enacted The CARES Act, which created a $300 charitable deduction for the 120 million Americans who do not itemize their taxes. United Way of Buffalo & Erie County donors can deduct up to $300 in charitable contributions made before December 31, 2020.

 

2020 Stimulus Payments

If you received an Economic Impact Payment in 2020 (also known as a stimulus payment) as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), it will affect how much you owe in taxes for the 2020 tax year. These stimulus payments were advance payments of refundable tax credits from individual 2020 tax returns.

Payment not received or less than expected? Claim it on 2020 tax return.               

Because of the speed at which the IRS issued this second round of payments, some payments may have been sent to an account that may be closed or no longer active. By law, the financial institution must return the payment to the IRS, they cannot hold and issue the payment to an individual when the account is no longer active. While the IRS is exploring options to correct these payments, if you have not received your full payment by the time you file your 2020 tax return, you may claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on your tax return. The credit is figured like the Economic Impact Payment, except that the credit eligibility and the credit amount are based on the 2020 tax year information, including income.          

For people who received a partial Economic Impact Payment, they can take the Recovery Rebate Credit for any remaining amount they’re eligible for by completing line 30 of the 2020 Form 1040 or 1040-SR.