Published On: March 10, 20222.3 min read465 words

Don’t miss out on the Earned Income Tax Credit! File your taxes by April 18, 2022. At least 20% of eligible people for the EITC don’t claim this benefit each year – likely because they are unaware they qualify. 

More people than ever before qualify for significant new tax benefits this year. This year, those eligible for new tax benefits include Qualified Homeless and Qualified Former Foster Youth. These young people can get money from the federal government to boost their income through the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

Quick EITC Facts for Homeless + Foster Youth 

  • Qualified homeless youth are individuals who certify that they are unaccompanied youth who is homeless, or who is at risk of homelessness, and who is self-supporting.
  • Qualified former foster youth are individuals who, between the ages of 14 and 17, were in foster care and provided consent for the entity or entities who administered the foster care program to disclose information related to their status as a former foster youth. 

Young adults without dependents

  • Homeless youth and former foster youth ages 18+ who work are eligible, even if they are students. 

Young adults with dependents

  • There is no minimum age.
  • You are also eligible for the Child Tax Credit (learn more).

More about the credit

  • If you support yourself financially, you can file your taxes, even if your parents claimed you as a dependent on their taxes in previous years.
  • The amount of the credit depends on the amount of earned income and whether or not they are filing a joint return: the maximum amount of the credit is $1,502, which corresponds to earned income between:
    • $9,800 and $17,599 for joint filers, and
    • $9,800 and $11,649 for other filers. 
  • Qualified former foster youth and qualified homeless youth who meet the other requirements for EITC eligibility can claim the credit by checking the box on line 27 on their 2021 tax returns. Like other taxpayers who claim the EITC in tax year 2021, they may elect to use their tax year 2019 income instead of their 2021 income if their tax year 2021 income is lower than their 2019 income.
    • No documents are needed, just check the box! 
  • This money is not a loan.

National Network for Youth is committed to helping homeless and foster youths understand their eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit and how to get it when filing their taxes this year. For workers filing for the first time or for those who need help completing their forms, free resources for support are available:

For free legal help on tax issues with the IRS (including owing back taxes), find your local Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC).