Your 2019 tax return has to be filed before you can use the 2019 AGI for the 2020 EIC.
To complete and file a 2019 tax return using TurboTax you would need to purchase, download and install on a personal computer one of the 2019 desktop editions from this website - https://turbotax.intuit.com/personal-taxes/past-years-products/
A 2019 tax return can only be printed and mailed, it cannot be e-filed.
It's an interesting question because you obviously aren't in a hurry to get your 2019 EIC either.
If you file a 2020 return that figures EIC from 2019 information, and your 2019 return is not already on file with the IRS, the IRS will reject your 2020 claim and possibly bar you from future EIC for filing what they would view as a fraudulent claim.
So clearly you need to file your 2019 return first, and wait for it to be fully processed and any refund paid. This may take several months because returns filed on paper are being substantially delayed. Turbotax can't e-file a 2019 return. However, a tax professional might still be able to e-file a 2019 return (although at higher cost than Turbotax) which might mean you could file the 2020 return 6 weeks from now instead of 4 months from now.
So think about cost vs time, and decide if you want to file your 2019 return with Turbotax or a tax professional, and start there.
Thank you all for answering my question. I'm glad I didn't use my 2019 income & waited for a reply. Yes, I would have loved to already had filed my 2019, but due to not having all the proper documentation to file yet (Ex. All my receipts, etc.), has stopped me from yet filing. So once I can get back to my home state, get the correct documentation to make sure my numbers are correct, then I can file 2019.
To be clear, can I later amend my 2020 taxes so I can use my 2019 income that is much higher, in turn a bigger refund? I can really use the refund money at the moment, so if I don't have to wait to file I don't want to.
@Opus 17 gave you the best option for your situation and it will not be the fastest but it would be the correct path ... filing the 2019 return thru a paid tax pro who can still efile the 2019 return would be the fastest way to do what you want to do ... make sure you confirm they can efile 2019 before you commit.
Q. Will using my 2019 income, that is much higher, get me a bigger refund?
A, Not necessarily. Taxes are complicated. TurboTax will calculate it both ways and present you with the results, and recommend which way to file.
If you can file a 2020 return now, you will not be able to use your 2019 information to calculate EIC by the alternate method. However, because you can e-file a 2020 return and the IRS is prioritizing 2020 returns, it will get paid the fastest.
You could then file your 2019 return when you have the necessary information, and wait for it to be fully processed. Then, you could test to see if you would get a larger EIC payment by filing an amended 2020 return using your 2019 income information. However, because of the time factor involved, I would expect it would take you at least a year to see any additional refund if you are able to claim a larger refund by using your 2019 income for an EIC claim.
The fastest way to get some money ASAP would be to e-file a 2020 return now. But, expect to take six months to receive your 2019 refund and a year to receive any additional 2020 refund that you might be eligible for. The best way to get all the money that is due to you as efficiently as possible would be to file the 2019 return with a tax professional who can e-file it for you, wait for the refund to be paid which should take a couple of months, and then e-file a 2020 return by October 15.
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