Stimulus 2022: You Could Be Eligible for This $2,000 Tax Break

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A little-known tax break offered by the IRS to those with retirement accounts will be expanded in 2022 to include more Americans, and it could help you save up to $2,000 off your tax bill.

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Called the Saver’s Credit (formerly known as the Retirement Savings Contributions Credit), this tax break is available to low- and moderate-income Americans who are saving for retirement. The Saver’s Credit will reduce or even eliminate tax bills for those who qualify, according to the Intuit TurboTax website.

The credit can reduce your tax bill up to $1,000 for individuals and $2,000 for couples. It is offered as another incentive for Americans to save money for retirement — something not nearly enough are doing these days.

Not a lot of taxpayers take advantage of the credit, or are even aware it exists. The good news for 2022 is that the IRS has raised the income range for those who are eligible for the Saver’s Credit, meaning it will be available to more taxpayers.

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If you’re married filing jointly, your adjusted gross income must be $68,000 or less in 2022 to claim the credit, which is up from $66,000 in 2021, Motley Fool reported. If you are filing as head of household, your AGI must be $51,000 or less in 2022, up from $49,500 in 2021. For all other filers, the AGI must be $34,000 or less in 2022, up from $33,000 in 2021.

You are eligible for the Saver’s Credit if you meet one of the following criteria:

  • Age 18 or older
  • Not claimed as a dependent on another person’s return
  • Not a student (the IRS considers you a student if during any part of five calendar months you were enrolled as a full-time student at a school or took a full-time, on-farm training course given by a school or a state, county or local government agency)
  • Have made your retirement contribution during the tax year for which you are filing your return
  • Meet the income requirements

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The size of your tax break depends on your income and tax filing status, which will determine whether you claim the Saver’s Credit for 50%, 20% or 10% of the first $2,000 you contribute during the year to a retirement account. For individuals, the maximum credit amounts that can be claimed are $1,000, $400 or $200. For married couples filing jointly, the biggest credit they can claim together is $2,000.

The Saver’s Credit is considered a non-refundable tax credit, meaning it can reduce the tax you owe to zero but won’t provide you with a tax refund. You can claim the credit for contributions to these types of retirement accounts:

  • 401(k)
  • 403(b)
  • 457(b)
  • Simple IRA
  • SEP IRA
  • Traditional IRA
  • Roth IRA

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Note that you can’t claim your employer’s contributions to these accounts.

Here’s a look at the rate and AGI eligibility by filing status, according to the IRS website:

 

Credit Married Filing Jointly 

(AGI) 

Head of Household 

(AGI)

All Other Filers 

(AGI)

50% of your contribution $0-$41,000 $0-$30,750 $0-$20,500
20% of your contribution $41,001-$44,000 $30,751-$33,000 $20,501-$22,000
10% of your contribution $44,001-$68,000 $33,001-$51,000 $22,001-$34,000
0% of your contribution Over $68,000 Over $51,000 Over $34,000

To claim the credit, you will need to use Form 8880, Credit for Qualified Retirement Savings Contributions.

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.

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