If you received wages or self-employment income during 2009 or 2010, you probably qualify for the Making Work Pay tax credit. When you file your 2009 return, usually in 2010, or your 2010 return, usually in 2011, be sure to fill out and attach Schedule M.
Created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the Making Work Pay Credit, normally a maximum of $400 for singles and $800 for couples, is refundable. This means you can get it even if you owe no tax. See fact sheet FS-2011-03 and the instructions for details.
Because the Making Work Pay Tax Credit was built into the withholding tables for 2009 and 2010, most workers benefited from larger paychecks during these years. Though most taxpayers paid less tax because of this credit, a limited number of people, including those who usually receive very small refunds, could in some situations owe a small amount rather than receiving a refund. If you wind up owing tax because too little was taken out of your paychecks during 2009 or 2010, you may qualify for special relief on a penalty that sometimes applies.
Some taxpayers who received the one-time economic recovery payment need to reduce their credit by the amount of this payment. For details or to find out if you received one of these payments during 2010, visit the Economic Recovery Payment page.
Related Item: Tax Tip 2011-15, Five Important Facts about the Making Work Pay Credit