Earned Income Tax Credit for Working Seniors
By the GWAAR Legal Services Team
As we are in tax filing season, working seniors should be sure to check whether they qualify for a bigger refund through expanded eligibility for Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC). Until last year, EITC eligibility was limited to workers between the ages of 25 and 64. Starting with the 2021 tax year, under provisions of the American Rescue Plan, the tax credits became available to any income-eligible worker over the age of 19. The 2021 tax year marked the first time that EITC credits have been available to workers age 65 and up, so many seniors may not be aware of this opportunity to increase the size of their tax refunds.
For the 2022 tax year, married taxpayers without dependent children can qualify for EITC if their earnings from work or self-employment in 2022 amounted to $22,610 or less – up from $16,000 in previous years. The income limit for single taxpayers is $16,480. Unfortunately, the maximum EITC credit for workers without dependent children tops out at $560, down from the 2021 maximum credit of $1,500. Nonetheless, the credit can make a meaningful difference for low-income seniors. And, since the EITC is a refundable tax credit, eligible taxpayers can see a refund even if they have zero income tax liability. Seniors who think they may qualify for EITC should consider consulting with a tax professional or a free assistance resource, such as the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program or the AARP Tax Aide program.