Last-minute tips for 2022 tax season

Benjamin Franklin famously said, “Nothing is certain except death and taxes,” but with all of the changes the pandemic brought, there has never been more uncertainty around filing taxes, especially since the IRS deadline to file taxes for 2021 is fast approaching.

One change is avoiding close contact with others, leaving many trying to navigate the tax prep process online and alone.

If you’re wondering what to claim or declare on your taxes, here are a few guidelines.

  • First, emergency rental assistance doesn’t count as income, and isn’t taxable.
  • You don’t have to declare it if your family received it.
  • If you received economic stimulus payments, the IRS should have sent you what’s called a “Notice 1444 C” telling you what to put down.
  • If you never received the third and final stimulus payment you can claim that on your 2021 taxes, but the first two payments have to be amended into your 2020 return.
  • In either situation, you should be able to get your money.
  • For families with kids -- the 2021 amount for the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit increased.
  • Parents and caregivers can now claim 50% of the their childcare costs, compared to only 35% last year.
  • The IRS caps the credit at four thousand for one child and eight thousand for two or more.
  • The Child Tax Credit also increased in 2021 to $3,600 for each child under 5 and $3,000 for each for each child six and older.
  • It’s usually only available when claimed at tax time, but the IRS actually sent out payments to families throughout the year.
  • The IRS should have set a “Letter 6419″ detailing what has been paid and any remainder that can still be claimed on your tax return.

Also remember that the Child Tax Credit begins to decrease for higher income levels, $75,000 for individuals, $112,000 for head of household and $150,000 for married couples filing jointly.

>>>MORE: Tax Day laggards: Consider filing for extension if in a rush