Published on February 14, 2022 in Finances
Unless you’re a tax whiz, tax preparation can be time consuming and costly. Fortunately, United Way’s MyFreeTaxes makes it free and easy to file online yourself, regardless of your income. In many cases, the result is a bigger refund.
“MyFreeTaxes creates a win-win for working families by eliminating tax prep fees and ensuring maximum refund amounts,” said Megan Thibos, Director of Economic Mobility initiatives at United Way for Southeastern Michigan. “With these savings, families can pay off debt, build a financial safety net or simply have more money to put toward basic needs like food and utilities.”
The program is made available thanks to a partnership with United Way Worldwide. MyFreeTaxes is available free to individuals of any income. It uses the same tax filing software that professionals use, in an easy, question-and-answer format. You can use MyFreeTaxes to e-file your state, federal, and local returns for free online, at your convenience.
At United Way for Southeastern Michigan, we work to help households become more stable. Part of that effort includes helping people boost their family finances and keep more of what they earn. Increased refunds can help families start a savings account, pay bills or make important purchases.
“We found that a lot of people fail to claim the credits they’re entitled to simply because taxes are complicated, or because they don’t know that they qualify,” Megan said. “We focus on simplifying the process so that families in our region can get more money back in refunds.”
“When we unite with other organizations toward common goals, we’re able to make a major difference in local communities,” Megan said.
Through the new Child Tax Credit passed last spring, families are eligible to receive up to $3,600 for each child in their care under the age of 6 and up to $3,000 per year for children ages 6 to 17. Most families are eligible for this new Child Tax Credit, including families in which the adult(s) is not the child’s biological parent, families that do not usually file taxes, and families with low/no earnings.
The first half of this credit was paid out in regular monthly payments from July through December 2021. Families received $300 per month, per child younger than age 6 and $250 per month, per child age 6 to 17. To receive the second half of the credit, families must file taxes in 2022.
If you didn’t receive your monthly payments, it’s not too late to claim your Child Tax Credit! Families who did not receive their monthly payments in 2021 can still claim the entire credit by filing taxes in 2022.
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) gives working individuals with low to moderate incomes more money in their pockets at tax time. Families with and without children are all eligible for the credit, though the amount depends on income and family situation. Last year, nearly 80,000 Detroiters claimed a total of nearly $240 million in EITC.
“Like everything during the pandemic, the 2022 tax season will be a bit different, but thankfully we have the tools we need for families to be able to claim their Child Tax Credit and EITC.” Megan said. “We know the tremendous positive impact that is made when families are able to add a bit more money to their budgets.”
If you need more help, free in-person assistance is also available through United Way partners at the Accounting Aid Society and Wayne Metro Community Action Agency. Schedule your appointment today at GetTheTaxFacts.org.