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Guide to Filing your Taxes for the 2021 tax year

In response to the financial impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, Congress expanded tax benefits which may increase the amount of money you receive through your tax refund when you file your return for the 2021 tax year.

It’s not too late to file your tax return

Although the regular tax season is over, you can still file a late tax return until October 15, 2022. If you do not file you may miss out on a refund or any tax credits for which you may be eligible.While there’s no penalty for filing late if you do not owe taxes, you could face fees and penalties if you do owe for 2021. The information below can help you navigate this process and complete your return before the final deadline.

Filing a Simple Return

There are two main reasons you may want to file a simple return in 2022:

  1. To claim the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit (Economic Impact Payment or “EIP”)

    If you didn’t receive the latest EIP, you could be eligible to receive the following as part of your tax refund:
    • $1,400 for a single individual
    • $2,800 for a married couple filing jointly

  2. To claim the 2021 Child Tax Credit (CTC)

    If you are eligible for this credit, the maximum amount you could receive is:
    • $3600 for each child ages 0 to 5
    • $3000 for each child ages 6 to 17

To claim any recovery rebate or child tax credits that you are eligible for, you can file a simple return online by going to GetCTC.org . This online resource is both mobile friendly and available in Spanish.

Filing a Full Tax Return

Depending on your circumstances, you may want to consider filing a full tax return. There are a few reasons to consider this option:

  1. To claim the child tax AND recovery rebate credits

  2. To claim the Earned Income Tax Credit

    If you are eligible for this credit, the maximum amount you could receive is:
    • $1,502 if you have no dependent children
    • $3,618 if you have one qualifying child
    • $5,980 if you have two qualifying children
    • $6,728 if you have three or more qualifying children

  3. To claim the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit

    You may be eligible for this credit if you paid for childcare because you were working or looking for work in 2021.

  4. If you claimed over-withholding

    You may have had taxes withheld by an employer during 2021. If more taxes were withheld than you owe you can claim the balance by filing a 2021 tax return.

To file a full tax return online go to MyFreeTaxes.com .

Access your tax refund quickly and safely

If you think you may receive a refund, here are some things to think about before you file your return:

  • If you already have an account with a bank or credit union, make sure you have your information ready -- including the account number and routing number -- when you file your tax return. You can provide that information on the tax form and the IRS will automatically deposit the funds into your account.
  • If you have a prepaid card that accepts direct deposit, you can also receive your refund on the card. Check with your prepaid card provider to get the routing and account number assigned to the card before you file your return.

You can learn more about choosing the right prepaid card here

  • If you don’t have a bank account or prepaid card, consider opening an account. Many banks and credit unions offer accounts with low (or no) monthly maintenance fees when you have direct deposit or maintain a minimum balance. These accounts may limit the types of fees you can incur and may also offer free access to in-network automated teller machines (ATMs). You can often open these accounts easily online.

Learn more about the FDIC’s #GetBanked campaign.

Watch out for scams

Scammers are taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic by attempting to con people into giving up their money. During this time of uncertainty, being aware of possible scams is a good first step toward preventing them.

Submit a complaint

Having a problem with a financial product or service? We have answers to frequently asked questions and can help you connect with companies if you have a complaint.

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