IRS reminding more than 9M people they could be eligible for key tax credits

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The Internal Revenue Service is sending special reminder letters to more than 9 million people who still could be eligible for a variety of key tax benefits.

The letters should arrive in mailboxes during the next few weeks. They are being sent to people who appear to qualify for the Child Tax Credit, Recovery Rebate Credit or Earned Income Tax Credit but haven’t filed a 2021 federal income tax return to claim them.

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“The IRS wants to remind potentially eligible people, especially families, that they may qualify for these valuable tax credits,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a press release. “We encourage people who haven’t filed a tax return yet for 2021 to review these options. Even if they aren’t required to file a tax return, they may still qualify for several important credits. We don’t want people to overlook these tax credits, and the letters will remind people of their potential eligibility and steps they can take.”

The Child Tax Credit, Recovery Rebate Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit were among several tax benefits that were expanded by the American Rescue Plan Act and other recent legislation. The letters are being sent to people who don’t typically need to file a tax return because they appear to have very low incomes but could still qualify for the expanded benefits.


Many people who don’t normally need to file a tax return should do so this year, even if they haven’t had to in the past. The only way to get the benefits is to file a 2021 tax return.

Those who make less than $12,500 a year and couples with income less than $25,000 might be able to file a simple tax return to claim the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit, which covers any stimulus payments from 2021 they might have missed, and the Child Tax Credit.

Claiming these credits has no effect on eligibility for federal benefit programs such as Supplemental Security Income, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. Claiming these credits also has no effect on immigration status or the ability to get a green card or immigration benefits.


The letters being sent out now are part of an ongoing effort by the IRS to encourage people who aren’t normally required to file to look into possible benefits available to them. People can file a tax return even if they haven’t yet received their letter.

To help people claim these benefits without charge, Free File will remain open for an extra month, until Nov. 17. The service allows people who make $73,000 or less in a year to file a free online return.

People can also click here to file a 2021 income tax return.


For more information about these benefits and more, including the necessary paperwork to file a 2021 income tax return, click here.

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