In Washington, D.C, Americans are being urged by the Internal Revenue Service to file a federal income tax return for 2021 so that they can take advantage of important tax benefits included in the American Rescue Plan and other recent legislation.
People and families with little or no income can often take advantage of these additional tax benefits. This means that many people who normally do not have to file a return this year should do so. Many people could get tax refunds if they claim these benefits, so it’s important that they file their returns accurately and choose direct deposit to avoid processing delays and speed up the delivery of their refund.
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Expanded tax benefits
Many of these new tax benefits are described in detail in IRS.gov fact sheet FS-2022-10, which can be found right now. People who file a 2021 federal income tax return are eligible for these benefits, but the IRS stresses that this is a one-time opportunity. Among the advantages:
- Families can claim this credit even if they received monthly advance payments in the second half of 2021, thanks to an expanded Child Tax Credit.
- Child and Dependent Care Credits are now worth up to $4,000 per qualifying person and $8,000 per qualifying family member. Families who pay for daycare so that one or more members can work or look for work are eligible for the credit.
- In the American Rescue Plan, workers without children were given an increased Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Changes have also been made that will benefit families with children who are on a low or moderate-income.
- To qualify for the RRC, those who did not receive the third round of EIP3 (also known as stimulus payments) may have missed out. Those who had a child in 2021 and whose EIP3 was less than the full amount may also be eligible for this credit.
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- The majority of taxpayers who take the standard deduction in 2021 will be able to deduct cash contributions they made to eligible charities. Donations in cash can be deducted by married couples filing jointly up to $600 and by individuals filing individually up to $300. In addition, those who donate large sums of money in 2021 may be able to deduct the entire donation from their taxable income.
EITC refunds can’t be issued until mid-February for early filers, according to the IRS. Additional Child Tax Credit-enhanced refunds follow the same rules (ACTC).
Most of the time, the ACTC is claimed by Americans living outside of the country for more than half of 2021.
Refundable Child Tax Credit (RCTC) claimants who have a primary residence in the United States are not subject to the mid-February restriction unless they also claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).