Forgot to file 2010 taxes? You can still file and get a refund with the Earned Income Credit
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is one of the most valuable tax credits out there, but many eligible taxpayers don’t take advantage of it. Even if the tax filing deadline has already come and gone you may still be able to claim it.
Take the 2010 tax year for example. Maybe you forgot to file a 2010 tax return. Maybe you did file for 2010, but didn’t know that you were eligible to claim the credit. Don’t worry. There’s still time to get all the refund money you’re entitled to.
What many people don’t realize is that you actually have three years after the original due date of a tax return to file it and still get a refund. 2010 taxes were originally due on April 18, 2011. That means you have until April 15, 2014 to file and still get a refund, including the Earned Income Tax Credit.
What is the Earned Income Tax Credit?
The Earned Income Tax Credit is a refundable credit, which means that you can get money back in the form of a refund even if your tax liability is $0. This makes it an especially valuable credit to claim.
The credit is designed to put money back in the pockets of low- and moderate-income taxpayers who work for a living. The amount of the credit varies depending on how much money you earn and how many dependents you can claim. Naturally, the more dependents the greater the credit amount.
The EITC only offers a credit to those taxpayers who worked for a living, who have what’s called ‘earned income.’ Money earned from employment or self-employment generally counts as earned income. Note, however, that interest and dividends, retirement income, Social Security, unemployment benefits, alimony, and child support do not count as earned income.
For 2010 the maximum EITC you can receive is
- $5,666 with three or more qualifying children
- $5,036 with two qualifying children
- $3,050 with one qualifying child
- $457 with no qualifying children
Am I eligible?
The IRS actually makes it super easy to figure out if you are eligible to claim the EITC. You can use the 2010 EITC Assistant to figure out if you are eligible to claim the credit and how much that credit will be.
In order to claim the EITC for 2010, your adjusted gross income (AGI) must be less than:
- $43,352 ($48,362 for married filing jointly) with three or more qualifying children
- $40,363 ($45,373 for married filing jointly) with two qualifying children
- $35,535 ($40,545 for married filing jointly) with one qualifying child
- $13,460 ($18,470 for married filing jointly) with no qualifying children
Also note that you cannot take the EITC if your filing status is married filing separately.
Here’s what to do
Can you claim the Earned Income Tax Credit? If so, great! Here’s what you have to do to get your money.
If you didn’t file a 2010 return, you need to get on that. Prepare your return right here on PriorTax – and don’t forget to claim the EITC! Then after you submit your return and the PriorTax team reviews it to make sure everything’s okay, you will have to print your return, sign it, and mail it to the IRS. Unfortunately, you can’t e-file prior year returns. Then all you have to do is wait for your refund!
If you did file a 2010 return but forgot to claim the EITC, you’ll have to file an amended return. If you originally filed with PriorTax or our sister site RapidTax, we’ll be happy to help you amend your return. If you filed somewhere else, the best thing to do is to amend your return there.
Photo via Alan Cleaver on Flickr.