Taxpayers aged 65 and over eligible for the earned income tax credit

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In addition to the federal tax credit, 22 states base their own earned income tax benefit on that of the federal government. Due to the increased EITC, workers in these states will be entitled to an average of $270 for the 2021 tax year.

“We know that the Earned Income Tax Credit lifts 5-6 million people out of poverty, including 3 million children, but around 20% of those eligible are still not applying for the EITC, including around 5 million in underserved communities,” said Marsh Ryerson. “As a result, more than $7 billion goes unclaimed. This hurts not only these families, but also their communities and local businesses.”

Each year, the AARP Foundation’s Tax Assistance Program helps low-to-moderate income taxpayers across the country file their returns for free. Marsh Ryerson said Tax-Aide volunteers have been trained and certified by the IRS, so they will be able to notify taxpayers of changes to the EITC and child tax credit. She also said the AARP Foundation will help support community organizations, especially in African American and Hispanic communities, to raise awareness of the expanded EITC credit eligibility.

Dena Bunis covers Medicare, health care, health policy and Congress. She also writes the “Medicare Made Easy” column for the AARP Bulletin. An award-winning journalist, Bunis has spent decades working for metropolitan dailies, including as Washington bureau chief for the Orange County Register and as a health and workplace policy maker for News day.


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