Free Tax Preparation Options for 2021
The COVID-19 relief plan began advancing parents a portion of the child tax credit in installments since July 2021. Most families will receive $3,600 per child under age 6 and $3,000 per child under age 18 for the 2021 tax year. Most families have already received half of this credit. The remainder CTC should be claimed in your 2021 tax filing. You can find out exactly how much you’ll receive here.
Couples earning less than $150,000 or individuals earning less than $75,000 a year qualify for the CTC for their dependent children, stepchildren, foster children, half-siblings, grandchildren and other descendants the taxpayer claims as a dependent. Dependents must have lived with their parents or guardian for at least six months, and they may be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national or U.S. resident alien. Undocumented people whose children have social security numbers issued before May 17, 2021 also qualify for the credit.
The IRS will send you a letter about CTC and the steps to take to get the full amount you are entitled to. Keep all IRS letters about advance Child Tax Credit payments with your tax records. For more details, click here for FAQs on the Child Tax Credit payments.
Additionally, for tax year 2021, you may be able to claim the following tax credits:
- The earned income credit ranges from $1,502 to $6,728 depending on tax-filing status, income and number of children. Earned income credit is a small credit for taxpayers with no children and much larger credit for those with one, two, or three or more children under age 19, for students under age 24.
- Dependent credit $500 for each dependent claimed
- Child Care Credit based on payments made to childcare providers for kids under age 13 for a percentage of $8,000 for one child, $16,000 for two or more children.
- Retirement savings contribution credit is based on contribution to one’s own pension fund such as a 401(k) IRA or 403b.
- Education credit for payments made for undergraduate college study by a taxpayer or dependent (American Opportunity) or for continuing education for taxpayer (lifetime learning).
- Stimulus payment recovery credit for the third stimulus payment in 2021 not received.
New Yorkers can call 311 for tax preparer information. Food Bank for NYC offers free, contactless tax preparation services for low-income New Yorkers. Free tax prep is available at https://www.foodbanknyc.org/taxhelp/. Call 646-981-6111, Monday through Friday, 10 AM to 4 PM, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The IRS deadline to file is April 18, 2022.
For more information on the free legal services the union provides, call the MELS Screening Unit at 212 815-1111 or email: MELSscreeningunit@dc37.net