People affected by homelessness can receive Economic Impact Payments and other tax benefits

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WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service continued its ongoing efforts this week to help people affected by homelessness during the pandemic by reminding people who do not have a permanent address or bank account that they may still be eligible Have economic impact payments and other tax benefits.

While economic impact payments continue to be made automatically to most people, the IRS cannot issue a payment to eligible Americans if information about them is not available in the tax authority’s systems.

To help the homeless, rural poor, and other historically underserved groups, the IRS urges community groups, employers, and others to share information about Economic Impact Payments and help more eligible people file a tax return so they get all they have justified. IRS.gov offers a variety of information and tools to help people receive Economic Impact Payments.

“The IRS has continued to work directly with groups inside and outside the tax community to provide information directly to people living with homelessness and other groups to help them receive economic impact payments,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “The IRS is working hard on this effort, making it possible for millions of people who would not normally file a tax return to receive these payments. But there is more we have to do, and we appreciate all the help we have received from national and local groups to support these efforts to reach the people who are in desperate need of it. “

Economic Impact Payments, also known as stimulus payments, differ from most other tax breaks; People can get payments even if they have little or no income and even if they don’t normally file a tax return. This applies as long as they have a social security number and are not assisted by someone else who can claim them as a dependent.

The IRS needs information from people who normally don’t file a tax return – even if they had no income last year or their income wasn’t high enough to claim a tax. The only way for the agency to get this information is to file a basic 2020 tax return with the IRS. Once this return has been processed, the IRS can quickly send incentive payments to an address chosen by the Eligible Person. People don’t need a fixed address or a bank account. You don’t have to have a job. For Eligible Individuals, the IRS will issue the payment even if they haven’t filed a tax return in years.

Individuals in this group can still qualify for the first two Economic Impact Payments when they submit their 2020 return by applying for the Refund Credit. There is a dedicated section on IRS.gov that can be helpful: Claiming the 2020 Refund Credit If You Don’t Need to File a Tax Return. For the current third round of payments, people affected by homelessness are typically entitled to $ 1,400 for themselves. If they are married or have dependents, they can receive an additional $ 1,400 for each of their family members.

Filing a 2020 federal income tax return containing very basic information about the person can be done electronically using a smartphone or computer. When the IRS receives the declaration, it will automatically calculate the Economic Impact Payments and issue them to eligible persons.

Fixed address not required

Individuals can claim an Economic Impact Payment or other credits even if they do not have a permanent address. For example, someone who has become homeless can get the address of a friend, relative, or trusted service provider such as If they are unable to choose direct deposit, a check or debit card can be sent to this address for tax refund and third economic impact payment.

People affected by homelessness can use the EITC. obtain

An employee who is homeless can receive an Income Tax Credit (EITC). To receive the loan, federal law requires an employee to live in the US for more than half of the year and meet other requirements. That means living in a house in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia. Therefore, people affected by homelessness, including those living in one or more homeless shelters, can meet this requirement.

No bank account? no problem

Many financial institutions help a person who doesn’t have an account to open a low-cost or free bank account. Individuals opening accounts will then have an account and bank routing number available when submitting and requesting a direct deposit of Economic Impact Payment.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) website provides details on how to open an account online in English and Spanish. Among other things, people can also use the FDIC’s BankFind tool to find a nearby FDIC-insured bank. Additionally, BankOn, American Bankers Association, Independent Community Bankers of America, National Credit Union Administration have all compiled lists of banks and credit unions that can open an account online.

For veterans see the Veterans Benefits Banking Program (VBBP) for access to financial services at participating banks.

For those who have a prepaid debit card, they may be able to have their refund applied to the card. Many prepaid rechargeable cards or mobile payment apps have account and routing numbers that can be made available to the IRS. Individuals would need to check with the financial institution to see if the card can be used and obtain the routing number and account number, which may be different from the card number.

Archive for free

The quickest, easiest way to claim the 2020 Refund Credit and Income Tax Credit (EITC) or get the third Economic Impact payment is to file a return electronically using IRS Free File. Users can use a smartphone or computer to visit IRS.gov and click the Free File link.

Thanks to the free file system, anyone who qualifies for the EITC can also use branded software to prepare and electronically submit their return free of charge. The IRS strongly encourages anyone living with homelessness who has a smartphone or access to a computer to use this service.

Get free help from IRS partners

Alternatively, anyone who qualifies for the EITC or has no filing requirement but requests payment for economic impact will also qualify for free tax assistance from a trained volunteer tax advisor in the community. Through VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) and TCE (Elderly Tax Advice), volunteers at thousands of tax advisory offices across the country prepare basic tax returns.

Please note that some VITA / TCE locations are not fully utilized and others will not be opened this year. To find the closest location, visit the Free Tax Return Preparation website on IRS.gov or call 800-906-9887. The availability of VITA / TCE sites will be updated during the registration season. So check that there are no sites nearby.

The IRS continues to work extensively with community groups across the country to get people to file tax returns and receive all payments and credits due to them. These efforts have helped more than 8 million people file tax returns over the past year that they normally don’t file.

Direct deposit speeds up payments

Direct deposit is the safest, fastest way to receive a refund and payments with economic impact. Individuals will need to include direct deposit information on their 2020 tax return in order to have their payment transferred direct.

Anyone with a savings, current or brokerage account can choose whether their reimbursement should be deposited electronically in this account. Direct deposit is also available for people filing a paper tax return, but paper returns take longer to process.

More details on the income tax credit

For people affected by homelessness who have a job, filing a declaration often offers an added bonus – a refund based on various tax breaks, particularly the EITC for low- and middle-income workers and working families.

Like many other workers, some homeless workers are eligible for the credit even if they had insufficient income to pay taxes in 2020. For 2020, the income limit is US $ 15,820 for singles without children (US $ 21,710 for couples without children). The income limit is higher for people with children. For example, the limit is $ 50,594 for singles with three or more children ($ 56,844 for couples with three or more children). Those who earn less must also meet other eligibility requirements.

Because it’s a refundable credit, those who qualify and claim the credit could pay less federal tax, pay no tax, or even get a tax refund. The EITC can put up to $ 6,660 in a worker’s pocket. The amount depends on the employee’s income, marital status and other factors.

The IRS recognizes that eligible workers affected by homelessness often encounter unique challenges that other people do not face.

To find out if they are eligible, users can use the EITC Assistant on IRS.gov. It is available in both English and Spanish.

Help spread the word

Employers can help by alerting their employees to the Third Economic Impact Payment, 2020 Refund Credit, Income Tax and Child Tax Credit, and encouraging them to claim these benefits based on the 2020 tax year rules. In addition, the American Rescue Plan, passed in March 2021, expands EITC and Child Tax Credit benefits for the 2021 tax year.

Some people will be able to receive child tax credit prepayments later this year. At this point, the beneficiaries do not have to do anything other than submit a tax return for 2020.

Employers can also help by making it easy for employees to receive or access their 2020 W-2 forms. For more information, see the outreach material available on IRS.gov.

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