Puerto Ricans eligible for Child Tax Credit should file a federal tax return; face-to-face IRS help in Puerto Rico during special Saturday opening on May 14

PR-2022-05, May 10, 2022

WASHINGTON — Although many Puerto Ricans don't normally file federal income tax returns, the Internal Revenue Service reminded residents about eligibility for the refundable Child Tax Credit, but they will need to submit a federal tax return to receive it. The Child Tax Credit is up to $3,600 for those 5 and younger or $3,000 for those up to age 17 by the end of 2021.

To help Puerto Ricans on this and other issues, the IRS announced the Taxpayer Assistance Center in Guaynabo will be open and offering face-to-face help on Saturday, May 14.

This special Saturday help is available at 48 Carr 165 km. 1.2, City View Plaza II Building from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and without an appointment. Normally, TACs are open by appointment only on weekdays.

"We're offering Saturday office hours so people can get the help they need," said Taxpayer Experience Officer and IRS Wage & Investment Division Commissioner Ken Corbin. "We recognize and understand not everyone can get to an appointment during normal business hours."

The American Rescue Plan made many residents of Puerto Rico newly eligible for the Child Tax Credit for the 2021 tax year. The 2021 legislation permanently expanded eligibility to residents of Puerto Rico with one or more qualifying children under the Child Tax Credit.

Eligible taxpayers in Puerto Rico can claim the credit by filing a tax return, even if they don't have a filing requirement and have little or no income from a job, business or other source.

Claiming these benefits could result in tax refunds for many people. Individuals should file an electronic return and choose direct deposit to avoid processing delays and speed delivery of their refund.

The legislation made the credit fully refundable for 2021 – temporarily removing the requirement for residents of Puerto Rico that limited the credit amount to the Social Security and self-employment taxes paid during the year.

Free tax return services provided at Puerto Rico TAC

IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) community partners will be available at the Guaynabo TAC providing free tax preparation. Additional tax preparation assistance can be found in Puerto Rico by using the VITA/TCE Locator Tool. Puerto Rico residents can enter 00638 in the zip code field, and search in a 100-mile radius to get a list of open sites.

Anyone who still needs to file a 2021 federal tax return can use these free, safe and convenient resources:

  1. Any individual or family earning $73,000 or less in 2021 can use tax software from providers who make their online products available through IRS Free File at no cost. There are products in English and Spanish. Note: Form 1040-PR, U.S. Self-Employment Tax Return (Including the Additional Child Tax Credit for Bona Fide Residents of Puerto Rico) (in Spanish)PDF, is not available through IRS Free File. Individuals filing Form 1040-PR can use MyFreeTaxes instead.
  2. Free help preparing tax returns is available at any open Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Center or Tax Counseling for the Elderly location site. The income limit for VITA assistance is $58,000. To find the closest free tax return preparation help, use the VITA Locator Tool or call 800-906-9887.

Foreign language interpreters will be available. IRS staff will schedule appointments for a later date for deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals who need sign language interpreter services.

Before going to a TAC, Corbin encouraged everyone to visit IRS.gov where they'll find many online resources that are safe, secure, convenient and explain how to prepare for a visit. This information is available in both English and Spanish.

"We'd like to help everyone get the most out of their time with us," he said. "Because appointments aren't necessary for these special Saturday hours, wait times can be longer than usual, so plan accordingly and come prepared."

Updated online verification service for improved experience in English, Spanish

The IRS is using ID.me, a trusted technology provider, to provide identity verification for access to IRS online services. Individuals with an ID.me account can sign-in without verifying their identity again. If they're a new user, they'll have to create a new ID.me account. The ID.me log on page is available in English and Spanish. Additionally, individuals can login with their existing IRS username.

ID.me offers two options for verifying a taxpayer's identity to access IRS online services – a self-service process and a live video chat, which are available in Spanish. Additionally, ID.me offers 24x7 customer support for both English and Spanish speakers.

For those who received a 5071C, 5071C/SP, or 6331C letter, recent improvements have been made to the IRS pages to make completing the online identity verification process easier. Taxpayers going to IRS.gov/verificarid (in Spanish) will see the online registration/login page in Spanish. Users should use their web browser's translation function to view the remaining IRS pages in Spanish.

During the TAC Saturday opening, taxpayers can receive in-person help with verifying their identity.

Come prepared with paperwork

To arrive prepared, individuals should bring the following information:

  • Current government-issued photo identification,
  • Social Security cards for members of their household, including spouse and dependents (if applicable),
  • Any IRS letters or notices received and related documents, and
  • Those who plan to request identity verification services must bring two forms of identification and a copy of the tax return filed for the year in question, if they filed a return.

During the visit, IRS staff may also request the following information:

  • A current mailing address, and
  • Bank account information to receive payments or refunds by Direct Deposit.

The IRS follows Centers for Disease Control social distancing guidelines for COVID-19, and availability may change without notice. When required by CDC guidance, such as in high transmission counties, it's mandatory for people to wear face masks and social distance at these events.

The IRS.gov webpage, Contact Your Local IRS Office, lists all TAC services offered during the event and regular office hours. Many have used a Saturday visit to ask about IRS identity protection services, or to request Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs), refunds and payment options.

If assistance is not available from IRS employees specializing in specific services, individuals will receive a referral for them. Taxpayer Advocate Service employees may also be available to assist with issues that meet certain criteria.

More information: