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Do you qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit?

Cash money and a laptop computer
Posted at 1:00 PM, Jan 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-31 15:00:09-05

GREAT FALLS — The Internal Revenue Service and partners across the country are reminding taxpayers to check if they qualify for a refundable tax credit. Friday, January 29th marked the 15th annual Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day.

This is a day dedicated to reminding low to moderate-income working people to check to see if they qualify for the tax break. Qualification and the amount of credit you can receive is dependent on your income level and the number of dependents you claim.

More than 74,000 Montana tax returns received the earned income tax credit last year, bringing more than $159 million back into the state, with an average credit amount of more than $2,000 per return.

And for this year, in an effort to provide Covid-related relief, taxpayers will be allowed to use their earned income from 2019 to figure their 2020 Earned Income Tax Credit.

“Earned income credit is a bell curve, so if you get really low income, you get a real low earned income credit and you know, you top out and it comes back down,” said CPA Katherine Caldwell. “So what they’re saying now temporarily for 2020, you can actually use 2019 earned income in order to qualify your earned income tax credit and I was just really surprised that you could go back a year, because a lot of people are going to be going down in income, getting less EIC, so they’re saying, ‘no you can use that 2019 amount and put you higher on that bell curve again.”

To see if you qualify for the refundable tax credit, click here to visit the IRS website.