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March 05, 2024 | March 13, 2024 | 4,997 total views

Tax Season is Here – Eligible People Experiencing Homelessness Should Be Encouraged to Claim Tax Credits! 

Service providers, advocates, and community groups are encouraged to continue reminding individuals experiencing homelessness that they can still be eligible for tax credits such as the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit, even though they may not be required to file taxes, have a permanent address, or have a bank account. You can find more information on filing taxes while experiencing homelessness here and here. Eligible individuals and families must file a federal tax return by April 15, 2024, to get these tax benefits.  

Child Tax Credit (CTC) 

The CTC is available for parents with dependent children and is designed to help ease the financial burden that families incur when they have children and reduce child poverty. There is no minimum income required to get the CTC for tax year 2023 but the upper income limit for the full benefit is $400,000 per year for married couples and $200,000 per year for head of household filers. Households eligible in 2023 could receive up to $2,000 for each child under 17 years old. Up to $1,600 of the CTC is available as a refund to families that earned at least $2,500 in 2023. Children (including those who are DACA recipients) must have a valid SSN and be aged 17 or younger to be eligible for the CTC but parents can be Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) filers. Receiving the CTC will not affect a person’s immigration status or count as income for most benefits. 

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) 

Additionally, people experiencing homelessness who maintain employment may also qualify for the EITC, even if they earned too little income during 2023 to owe taxes. To qualify, federal law requires that a worker live in the U.S. for more than half of the year, file a tax return, and meet other requirements. Therefore, individuals experiencing homelessness, including those who reside at one or more homeless shelters, can meet that requirement. For 2023, each eligible worker aged 25-64 without kids could receive as much as $600, and workers with kids at home could receive up to $7,430. To qualify for the federal EITC, individuals must have a Social Security Number for everyone listed on their tax return and must have earned under $24,210 without kids or less than $63,398 with kids in 2023. A person may be eligible for the EITC if they worked at any point during 2023, even if it was part-time, temporary, or gig work. 

They Can Still Claim Expanded EITC and CTC from 2021! 

Because of the pandemic, the EITC and CTC were expanded and made available to more families in 2021. That expansion has since ended, but there is good news – if a person was eligible for the 2021 expanded EITC, the 2021 expanded CTC, or any of the three rounds of stimulus checks and didn’t claim them, it’s not too late! If someone qualified for and didn’t get the first two stimulus checks, they must file a 2020 tax return by May 17, 2024. Individuals can learn more about filing prior year returns on the IRS website.   

Important Things to Note

  • This money is not a loan.  

  • The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will never contact you by phone, email, text message, or social media to request personal information – especially banking details – or ask you to provide a “processing” fee.