Filing a federal tax return even if it’s not required could put money in taxpayers’ pockets

IRS Tax Tip 2024-34, April 16, 2024

Some people choose not to file a tax return because they aren't legally required to file, but they could be missing out on refundable tax credits or an income tax refund. This could apply to someone if they:

  • Have had federal income tax withheld from their pay.
  • Made estimated tax payments.
  • Qualify to claim refundable tax credits.

Don’t miss out on valuable tax credits

A few tax credits people can claim on a federal tax return if they’re eligible include:

  • Earned Income Tax Credit – The EITC helps workers who earned $63,398 or less in 2023 when they file a federal tax return. Taxpayers can use the EITC Assistant on to check their eligibility.
  • Child Tax Credit Taxpayers can claim the Child Tax Credit if they had a qualifying child under the age of 17 at the end of 2023.
  • Credit for Other Dependents – Taxpayers who don’t qualify for the Child Tax Credit may qualify for the Credit for Other Dependents. This includes people who have:
    • Dependent children who are age 18 or older at the end of 2023.
    • Parents or other qualifying individuals they support.
  • Education credits The American Opportunity Tax Credit is for qualified education expenses for the first four years of higher education. The Lifetime Learning Credit is for qualified tuition and related expenses paid for eligible students enrolled in an eligible educational institution.

Get help deciding whether to file

The Interactive Tax Assistant provides answers to many common tax law questions based on an individual's specific circumstances. It can help someone decide whether they should file a tax return and if they're eligible for many common tax credits.

The tool is safe. It keeps the user anonymous and discards the information they provide when they exit a tool.

E-file to get a refund faster

The fastest way to get a tax refund is to e-file and select direct deposit. The IRS issues most refunds for e-filed returns in less than 21 days.

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