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goldengirl
Returning Member

2021 lookback rule

I had earned i come for 2019 but no earned income for 2020. I have only received unemployment in 2020. Can i use the look back rule to claim child tax credits?

29 Replies
MinhT1
Employee Tax Expert

2021 lookback rule

Yes.

 

The lookback rule is part of the Coronavirus tax relief package.

 

The special lookback rule will allow lower income individuals to use their earned income from 2019 to determine their Earned Income Tax Credit and the refundable portion of the Child Tax Credit in 2020, since their lower 2020 income could reduce the amount they are eligible for.

 

Please read this TurboTax blog for more information.

 

To use the lookback feature for the Earned Income Tax credit in TurboTax Online, go to the Earned Income tax credit section.

 

  1. In the Search box on the top right of your screen, enter earned income tax credit and click on Find at the right
  2. In the search result box, click on Jump to earned income tax credit
  1. In this section, follow the interview until you arrive at a page titled Do you want to use last year's earned income? Note down your Earned Income tax credit using your 2020 earned income.
  1. Click on the radio button Yes and enter your 2019 earned income and click Continue
  2. TurboTax will give you your new Earned Income tax credit using your 2019 earned income
  3. If the new credit is higher, click Continue to accept it
  4. If the new credit is lower, click Back to go back to the previous screen and click the radio button No then click Continue.

 

To use the lookback feature for the Child Tax credit in TurboTax Online, go to the Child Tax credit section.

 

  1. In the Search box on the top right of your screen, enter child tax credit and click on Find at the right
  2. In the search result box, click on Jump to child tax credit
  1. In this section, follow the interview until you arrive at a page titled Do you want to use last year's earned income? Note down your Earned Income tax credit using your 2020 earned income.
  1. Click on the radio button Yes and enter your 2019 earned income and click Continue
  2. TurboTax will give you your new child tax credit using your 2019 earned income
  3. If the new credit is higher, click Continue to accept it
  4. If the new credit is lower, click Back to go back to the previous screen and click the radio button No then click Continue.

 

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goldengirl
Returning Member

2021 lookback rule

Even if i have $0 earned income for 2020?

DawnC
Employee Tax Expert

2021 lookback rule

Yes, the lookback provision was implemented for people in your situation.   Since you received unemployment, you will use your 2020 AGI and your 2019 earned income and the result will be higher credits.    TurboTax will automatically use your 2020 AGI, but when you go through the questions, select YES to the lookback option, and then enter your 2019 earned income amounts.   If you use your 2020 earned income of $0, you won't qualify for the EIC or Additional Child Tax Credit.   So, you will definitely want to use the lookback provision!  

 

This usually includes the total of the amounts reported on:

 

 - Form 1040, line 1 (Wages, salaries, and tips)

 - Schedule C, line 3 of Schedule 1 (net business income)

 - Schedule F, line 6 of Schedule 1 (net farm income)

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Kelderkin80
New Member

2021 lookback rule

I was never asked about the look back on turbo tax this year. I even called customer service and they were completely clueless on the look back feature. So I lost over $4000 because tt wasn't up to date. Smh

Cynthiad66
Employee Tax Expert

2021 lookback rule

Well all is not lost.  You can amend your return to take advantage of that rule.

 

The great thing is that TurboTax will allow you to amend for Free.  Here is how your amend:

 

If your e-filed return was rejected (you got a specific reject code), go here instead.

Looking for a prior year return? Go here. 

You can amend e-filed returns if they've been accepted; paper-filed returns may be amended once they've been mailed.

If your e-file is still pending, you won't be able to make changes until the IRS either accepts or rejects it. Don't know your e-file status? Here's how to look it up.

Select your tax year for amending instructions:

 

Per @DawnC

The special lookback rule will allow lower-income individuals to use their earned income from 2019 (assuming it was higher in 2019 than 2020) to determine their Earned Income Tax Credit and the refundable portion of the Child Tax Credit in 2020 since their lower 2020 income could reduce the amount they are eligible for.   

The amount you qualify for will still be dependent on your 2020 AGI, but using the earned income amount from 2019 may provide a larger credit(s).  If it does, use it, if not, use your 2020 earned income amount.   TurboTax will allow you to compare the results and choose the higher credit amount.  It is optional as using your 2019 earned income won't be beneficial for all taxpayers.   

 

Please read this TurboTax blog for more information.

 

To use the lookback feature in TurboTax Online, go to the Earned Income Tax Credit section.

 

  1. In the Search box on the top right of your screen, enter EIC or eic and hit enter; click on Jump to eic
  2. Follow the interview until you arrive at a page titled Do you want to use last year's earned income?  make a note of the amount of your credit using the 2020 earned income...
  3. Click on Yes and enter your 2019 earned income and click Continue

TurboTax will show your new Earned Income tax credit using your 2019 earned income.   If the new credit is higher, click Continue to accept it.  If the new credit is lower, click Back to go back to the previous screen and click the radio button No then click Continue.

 

Generally, earned income includes wages (including non-taxable combat pay), tips, and other payments received for services you personally performed.

 

This usually includes the total of the amounts reported on:

 

 - Form 1040, line 1 (Wages, salaries, and tips)

 - Schedule C, line 3 of Schedule 1 (net business income)

 - Schedule F, line 6 of Schedule 1 (net farm income)

Kelderkin80
New Member

2021 lookback rule

Turbotax never applied my 2019 eitc. But since my refund hasn't processed yet, I filed 2/13, it's now 5/9. The irs hasn't touched my return. But I guess Turbotax tax or the irs input my 2019 eitc. My refund is much larger now.

VolvoGirl
Level 15

2021 lookback rule

No it wasn't updated for the EIC.  You mean you see a larger refund when you log into Turbo Tax or did the IRS send you more?

 

Did you enter any unemployment?  There have been major IRS changes for that.  If it is unemployment the IRS will automatically adjust your return.  So you do not need to amend.  

 

If you have unemployment you can exclude up to 10,200 if your income is under $150,000. Your unemployment compensation will be on Schedule 1 line 7. The exclusion will be on Schedule 1 Line 8 as a negative number. The result flows to Form 1040 Line 8.

 

If you already filed and didn't get the 10,200 unemployment exclusion you do not need to amend.  The IRS will be adjusting it for you.  See,

https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-to-recalculate-taxes-on-unemployment-benefits-refunds-to-start-in-m...

SAM1301
Level 1

2021 lookback rule

If we used look back rule, will we still receive unemployment tax refund? We paid taxes on unemployment received and should be receiving a refund on these taxes. Not clear how look back rule affects this. 

DoninGA
Level 15

2021 lookback rule


@SAM1301 wrote:

If we used look back rule, will we still receive unemployment tax refund? We paid taxes on unemployment received and should be receiving a refund on these taxes. Not clear how look back rule affects this. 


The look back using the 2019 AGI is only for the EITC and the Additional Child Tax Credit.  It does NOT affect the unemployment compensation exclusion or the 2020 AGI reported on your 2020 federal tax return.

SAM1301
Level 1

2021 lookback rule

It does affect or does NOT affect?

Critter-3
Level 15

2021 lookback rule

@SAM1301 

 

Once the IRS finally sends you the refund for the correction  ONLY THEN  should you amend the return to add the missing credits.

DoninGA
Level 15

2021 lookback rule


@SAM1301 wrote:

It does affect or does NOT affect?


Sorry.  Does NOT affect.

CArias
Returning Member

2021 lookback rule

A lot of people have still not received our Unemployment exclusion refund that have used the look back rule. Do we still get one? I redid my return to see and I definitely should be getting the difference back. Is it just considered complex? Just wondering…….

xmasbaby0
Level 15

2021 lookback rule

@CArias Is there an amount on line 24 of your Form 1040?

**Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to offer the most correct information possible. The poster disclaims any legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information that is contained in this post.**
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