Managing medical costs, groceries, housing, and utilities can overwhelm family caregivers. A family caregiver budget often has a quarter earmarked for the care recipient's needs. This might include covering gas for transportation to medical appointments, weekly groceries, or copays. The Earned Income Tax Credit helps low-income working families pay for necessities like food, housing, and medical needs. Created in 1975 by President Gerald Ford, the Earned Income Tax Credit helps many families make ends meet during difficult financial times.
Qualified low-income working families can receive an earned income tax credit annually. The Earned Income Tax Credit covers any children under the age of 17. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or residents with dependents who have lived in the country for at least six months. Dependents include foster children and college students under 24. Additionally, if an adults may qualify as a dependent if they have a permanent disability.
Households receive a refundable tax credit based on family size and earned income, and larger families receive bigger tax refunds based on the number of children in the household. In some cases, adult dependent children meet eligibility requirements, and children with a disability may meet eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit regardless of their age.
The Earned Income Tax Credit does not take into consideration the following:
To qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit, the following must be true:
To be valid, a Social Security Number must be valid for employment and must be issued before the tax return due date (including extensions). Adoption taxpayer identification numbers (ATIN), individual taxpayer identification numbers (ITIN), and Social Security cards that read "Not Valid for Employment" are not accepted for the EITC.
The Earned Income Tax Credit reduces any taxes owed dollar-for-dollar. If the amount you should receive exceeds the total taxes owed, you will receive a refund. The refund might come in the form of a check or direct deposit. The amount received each year changes. Always double-check the updated requirements before filing taxes.
Some disabled adult children may qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit if they have a permanent disability that reduces the overall quality of life or can lead to death. The family caregiver must provide documentation from a licensed doctor that indicates that the adult dependent has a severe mental or physical illness that will last for more than a year or can result in death. They also must have a valid Social Security number, meet residency requirements, and any relationship eligibility rules.
As with any financial assistance, document all medical issues that impact gainful employment. Keep any documentation from hospital stays, physicians, and others who have close content with the individual. Keep all these files organized. Speak with your tax preparer about recommended legal documents for filing in case of an audit with the IRS. The Earned Income Tax Credit can significantly help a family caregiver's budget.
Applying for the Earned Income Tax Credit can be completed when you file your yearly taxes. Calculate your overall earned income for the year. The tax forms have a chart to determine if you qualify. The IRS will deduct your Earned Income Tax Credit from any taxes you owe. Married couples need to file a joint return to apply for the credit.
Any refund will be sent to your home via check or direct deposit. In general, individuals receive direct deposit quicker than a check. If you have any questions, speak with your tax preparer about your eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit.
The Earned Income Tax Credit is one of the most popular tax credits because it helps working families pay for necessities and the high cost of family caregiving. Even if someone doesn't owe any taxes, they still receive money back from the government as a refund. For example, when you receive money through wages, salaries, or tips, you pay less in taxes. The amount of the reduction depends on how much you make and whether you owe any other taxes.
You can receive as much as a refund of $6,935 based on 2022 calculations:
If you qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit, you may also be eligible for other tax credits, including the following:
Being a family caregiver for a child, disabled adult, or foster child requires a significant financial commitment. The Earned Income Child Credit gives low–income working families some relief in paying for basics like groceries, housing, and medical needs.
Once the credit is applied to any owed taxes, the refund amount is sent to families. They can use the money for whatever they need. Many families depend on this refund to make important large purchases like major appliances, a vehicle, or towards high medical bills. Ask your tax preparer how to apply for the Earned Income Tax Credit this upcoming tax season.