Wondering if it’s still worth it to file your taxes? The answer is yes — no matter what. And we have resources to help you do it. In addition to new federal tax credits, there are a number of Michigan benefits that are accessed through filing your taxes.

Now that you have the facts, it’s time to file. United Way and our partners offer trusted, safe ways to file for free.

Don’t miss out on the new Child Tax Credit

For Everyone

File online yourself using United Way’s MyFreeTaxes — free guided online software. A helpline (866-698-9435) is available daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. for questions about using the software.

File online for free now

For Wayne, Oakland and Macomb families that made up to $57,000 in 2020

Schedule an appointment for free, IRS-certified tax preparation services. A mix of entirely virtual, COVID-safe document drop-off, and in-person appointments are available.

Make an in-person appointment Make a no-contact appointment

I’ve never filed my taxes before. I don’t make enough money (or my income is not taxed). Am I eligible? What do I need to do to file my taxes now?

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You qualify for the Child Tax Credit, if you meet these three criteria.
  • You are a parent, guardian or caregiver with dependent children up to age 17.
  • Your child has a Social Security Number. You can file with an ITIN (Individual Tax Identification Number), but your child must have a Social Security Number.
  • You fall below the following income limits to receive the full benefit.
    • If you are single and meet the requirements for filing taxes as a head of household, your income must be under $112,500. If you are single and do not meet the requirements for filing as head of household, your income must be under $75,000.
    • If you have a spouse and choose to file your taxes jointly, your combined income must be under $150,000.
If your household income is above those thresholds, you will receive slightly smaller payments, depending on income. You have to file taxes to claim the credit. You can file for free online or make an in-person or no-contact appointment to get assistance. You will need:
  • Documentation on your income, such as a W2, 1099, Social Security statement, etc.
  • Social Security Number and birthdates of minor children
  • Driver’s license or picture ID
If you are filing online, you just need to be able to include this information on the form. If you schedule an appointment for help, you will need to bring the documents with you to your meeting.

I don’t want to file a tax return. I’ve heard that the IRS is offering a new non-filer tool to claim the Child Tax Credit. Can I use that instead?

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We encourage everyone to file a full tax return rather than using the IRS non-filer tool. In addition to the Child Tax Credit, you may be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit or special Michigan tax credits like the Home Heating Credit and the Homestead Property Tax Credit. The only way to make sure that you receive all available credits is to file a full tax return.

If you choose to use the IRS non-filer tool instead of filing a full tax return here’s what you should know:
  • The IRS non-filer tool is only available to single adults making up to $12,400 or married couples making up to $24,000 in 2020. If your income is more, you’ll need to file a full tax return.
  • The IRS non-filer tool is best for households whose only income source is Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If you have earned income from a job or small business, file a full tax return to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit.
  • The IRS non-filer tool is best for households that live in subsidized housing or do not pay for housing costs at all, and do not pay for energy costs. If you pay for unsubsidized rent, property taxes and/or energy costs, file a full tax return to claim the Michigan Home Heating Credit and Homestead Property Tax Credit.

I haven’t filed taxes in a long time, but I did register for the stimulus payments last year. What are my options?

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The best way to claim the Child Tax Credit is to file your 2020 taxes. The IRS has said that eligible non-filers who previously registered for the stimulus payments will receive Child Tax Credit payments automatically. However, there may be other tax credits you qualify for. The only way to make sure that you receive all available credits is to file your taxes.

Search for resources now

From child care and education resources to free tax prep and financial coaching, United Way works with hundreds of partners to provide services that help families become stable and ensure their children can thrive. Explore our resources, or call 2-1-1 for help.

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GetTheTaxFacts is a collective effort to ensure that all families in the Detroit region access every single dollar of federal benefits available to them through the tax system. This would not be possible without all of our dedicated partners.