Is it true that I can file my 2020 taxes with my 2...
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Is it true that I can file my 2020 taxes with my 2019 info??

I heard that I can use my 2019 income to file taxes for 2020. I’m trying to see if that’s correct.
5 Replies
Employee Tax Expert

Is it true that I can file my 2020 taxes with my 2019 info??

Not quite accurate.  You get to pick the year that would generate a bigger tax break for you.  However, you still have to file your 2020 income tax return based on your 2020 income.  

 

Taxpayers may elect to use their 2019 earned income to figure the Earned Income Tax Credit and the refundable portion of the Child Tax Credit if their 2019 earned income is more than their 2020 earned income. 

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) can give qualifying workers with low-to-moderate income a substantial financial boost. EITC not only reduces the amount of tax someone owes but may give them a refund even if they don't owe any taxes or aren't required to file a return.

 

 

 

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Returning Member

Is it true that I can file my 2020 taxes with my 2019 info??

How to make the software to choose 2019 earned income to do earned income credit calculation? I can see the box choice in earned income credit worksheet. But choosing the box did not change the software to use 2019 earned income... Using 2019 earned income would be more beneficial to me.. 

Employee Tax Expert

Is it true that I can file my 2020 taxes with my 2019 info??

The new EITC rule will help people whose income was less in 2020 than 2019 or who received unemployment income that cannot be used to qualify for the EITC. A person may elect to use their 2019 earned income to figure the Earned Income Tax Credit if their earned income was more in 2019 than in 2020. This change may help workers get bigger tax credits and larger refunds when they file their 2020 tax returns this year. Taxpayers should use their 2019 earned income if it helps them qualify for more EITC.

 

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 7 (Wages, salaries, and tips)

 - Schedule C, 1040 line 12 (net business income)

 - Schedule F, 1040 line 18 (net farm income)

 

For more info on this provision, see Special Lookback for Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit    @vanessanight90

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Returning Member

Is it true that I can file my 2020 taxes with my 2019 info??

Thanks for the reply.

 

For my case, there is ~$7000 interest income in 2020. Even I chose 2019 earned income $18200 for EIC calculation, the EIC is still $0... 

 

Also, would this look back rule work for state EIC? 

Employee Tax Expert

Is it true that I can file my 2020 taxes with my 2019 info??

@ anessanight90 The Earned Income Tax Credit is calculated on earned income. Interest income is not considered earned income. The IRS considers earned income to be

  • Wages, salaries, tips, and other taxable employee compensation;
  • Union strike benefits;
  • Disability retirement benefits received prior to minimum retirement age;
  • Net earnings from self-employment

You do not say what state you live in. States generally use the federal EIC amount reported on Schedule EIC, so you would not be able to cherry pick a different year for state. If your federal EIC is $0 for 2019 and 2020 then your state EIC will probably be $0 as well. Most state EIC calculations give you a percentage of federal EIC.

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