Philadelphia taxpayers still have time to file their 2020 personal income tax return, and claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) when they qualify. Depending on your situation, you can get up to $6,660 back from the IRS. This year, it is especially important to file your taxes or file for previous years in order to qualify for any federal stimulus payments.
If your income is less than $66,000, you can even file your federal and Pennsylvania return for free at MyFreeTaxes, courtesy of United Way Worldwide. If your income is above this amount, you can pay a small fee to use the site.
Cheryl Mackey leads United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey’s Financial Empowerment work. We asked her to answer five questions about the MyFreeTaxes website.
When is the last day to file my federal and Pennsylvania income tax return with MyFreeTaxes?
Cheryl Mackey: The deadline to file federal and Pennsylvania income tax is May 17, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. As long as your tax returns are electronically filed or postmarked by May 17, they will be considered on time. Please note, only individuals who owe taxes must file and pay the amount due by the May 17 deadline.
You must file Form 4868 for a filing extension until October 15, 2021. Keep in mind that if you owe taxes, and miss the May 17, deadline without making a payment and filing Form 4868, the IRS will charge you both interest and penalties.
If the IRS owes you a refund, or you don’t have a filing requirement, the deadline does not apply. If you are owed a refund, you can also file for tax years 2017, 2018 and 2019 by May 17.
Can I use MyFreeTaxes to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit?
CM: Yes, MyFreeTaxes will calculate the proper Earned Income Tax Credit amount for which you are eligible. EITC is calculated based upon a taxpayer’s income, filing status and number of dependents. With one qualifying child, a taxpayer can receive $3,618 in EITC. For a breakdown of how EITC works, please visit the Campaign for Working Family’s website.
What if I don’t understand something on the return, or need to ask a question?
CM: You can turn to the United Way’s tax preparation support option. Just dial 211 or (866) 698-9435, between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m.
Will MyFreeTaxes keep my tax documents and information secure?
CM: The MyFreeTaxes filing software is powered by H&R Block, which uses the highest industry standards to safeguard and secure your information. United Way does not have access to any of your personal tax information.
What happens after I file my federal tax return and claim EITC?
CM: You can check the status of your return on the IRS website’s portal. Look for the Check My Refund Status button. Make sure you have your tax information handy to verify the questions the IRS website will ask.