Ways for Floridians to see bigger tax refunds as first IRS payments go out

Reporter: Emma Heaton Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:
IRS checks being printed. Credit: WINK News

Tax season is here, but things are a little different in 2022. When and if you got stimulus checks can impact your refund and when you get it, but there are also ways for Floridians to get more money back.

Make sure you have all the documents you need. If you’ve received that third stimulus payment, you need to enter that information in when you file for taxes because it could mean a delay on your refund check.

Mary Meador, a United Way program manager, says if you tell the IRS the wrong information when it comes to how much you have received for stimulus or advanced child tax credits, your return will be thrown into a research department and you’ll be far away from getting the credit you’re entitled to. If you owe any money, you’re supposed to pay it before the filing deadline on April 18.

“There’s no penalty,” Meador said. “We do have year-round sites if, for whatever reason, you can’t file by the 18th. We do have four sites that operate year-round that can help, or if you get a letter from the IRS and you’re unsure of what it’s asking, or if you need to amend something, we’re here to help with that as well.”

If you haven’t filed yet, or don’t want to do it alone, there are many programs out there to help:

  • Vita
  • AARP helps seniors file for free, as long as they meet certain guidelines.
  • Getyourrefund.org, where you enter the same information, fill out a simple intake form online and upload your documents to a secure site using your cell phone by taking pictures or scanning your documents.

The United Way also wants everyone to be aware of two big ways Floridians can get more money back this tax season.

One way is through the Expanded Earned Income Tax Credit. Workers aged 19 to 24, plus those 65 and older without kids, qualify for this tax credit. You can get an income boost of anywhere from $1,500 to $6,700.

The other way is a child tax credit. Meador says people who qualify could miss out because they either don’t know they are eligible or don’t know how to claim benefits.

“You don’t actually have to have earned income to get the child tax credit,” Meador. “And then the child tax credit, which you’ve probably heard went from $2,000 to $3,000, or $3,600, depending on the age of the kids. So, for a lot of people who didn’t have to file in the past, because there’s no benefit, they should be filing to get those credits.”

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