Yes you can use 2019 earned income instead of 2020 income to compute the child tax credit.
To do this in TurboTax:
- In Search, type earned income credit,
- Click Jump to earned income credit,
- Answer the questions until you reach Do you want to use last year’s earned income?
- Click Yes and enter your 2019 Earned Income.
If your earned income was higher in 2019 than in 2020, you may get a higher EITC credit by using 2019 earned income. Try it both ways in TurboTax and see what works best for you.
TurboTax does not ask me if I want to use 2019 income!!!!!! I have updated it and it still does not. I am worried about adding it manually. Tried to send message to TurboTax and was unable to. Really disappointed. Will review on Amazon if I do not get a response from this attempt to fix.
There is a “lookback” option that allows you to use your 2019 amounts for earned income credit or child tax credit. You can choose whether to use your 2019 amount or your 2020 amount. Choose whichever amount gives you a better tax refund for your 2020 refund.
You can see this and choose in the earned income credit section in Deductions and Credits.
You still MUST enter all of your 2020 income into your 2020 tax return, including any unemployment you received.
Please follow these steps in TurboTax:
- Login to your TurboTax Account
- Click on the Search box on the top and type "EIC"
- Click on “Jump to EIC”
- Answer the questions until you reach the screen "Do you want to use last year’s earned income?"
- Note your current refund amount using your 2020 earned income at the top of the screen.
- Click "Yes", enter your "2019 Earned Income" if the field is blank and click "continue".
- Compare the new refund amount using your 2019 earned income with the previously noted refund amount using your 2020 earned income.
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