Carper Highlights Updates, Free Resources for Delawareans this Tax Season
Today, U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) highlighted helpful information for Delawareans this tax season. The IRS will begin processing tax returns today – Feb. 12, 2021.
“This tax filing season, many Delawareans are eligible to use the free online tax preparation services offered through the IRS Free File program, and receive in-person assistance from hard working volunteers who are standing by up and down the state,” said Senator Carper. “Over 100 million taxpayers are eligible for these services, and they shouldn’t pay a penny more than they have to this tax season. Using these resources can help many Delawareans see if they qualify for income-boosting credits or missed Economic Impact Payments.”
The IRS encourages eligible taxpayers to try the IRS Free File program. The Free File program allows many taxpayers to use commercial online software, at no cost, to prepare and electronically file their tax return. On the Free File home page, taxpayers can browse the full list of online options to pick the one that best fits their needs.
In addition, free in-person tax preparation help is available through the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. However this year, some VITA sites are not operating at full capacity and others are closed. Delawareans can use the VITA Locator Tool to find free in-person tax preparation assistance near them. For those who do not have computer access, the IRS hotline number for VITA locations is (800) 906-9887.
Many Delawareans and their family members are eligible to receive Economic Impact Payments as part of the coronavirus relief packages passed by Congress last year. Those that qualified but did not yet receive an Economic Impact Payment, or were issued less than the full amount, can claim the Recovery Rebate Credit by filing a tax return.
Delawareans should also check if they are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), the federal government’s largest refundable federal income tax credit for low- to moderate-income workers. If the credit is larger than the amount of tax owed by those who qualify, workers will receive a refund for the difference. While the majority of those eligible claim EITC every year, the IRS estimates that one of five eligible taxpayers do not claim the credit.
Taxpayers earning $56,844 or less can see if they qualify for the EITC using the EITC Assistant tool at IRS.gov/eitc. The EITC Assistant, available in English and Spanish, helps workers determine if they are eligible and estimates the amount of the EITC they may receive. If an individual doesn’t qualify for the EITC, the Assistant will also explain why.
Nationwide in 2020, $62 billion in Earned Income Tax Credits were distributed to more than 25 million eligible taxpayers. The average EITC amount received was $2,461 per return. The EITC is worth as much as $6,660 for a family with three or more children or up to $538 for taxpayers who do not have a qualifying child.