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Tax Credits for Wisconsin Families

Low and moderate income Wisconsin residents can take advantage of a variety of tax credits. These credits can bring thousands of extra dollars to individuals and families, but an estimated 20% of people who are eligible for these tax credits do not claim them every year.  Here’s a breakdown by state. These credits include the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EIC), the Wisconsin Earned Income Tax Credit (EIC), and the Wisconsin Homestead Credit.

Tax Assistance Programs

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs are designed to help low and moderate income people file their income taxes. For the 2019 tax year, families who earned less than $56,000 were often eligible to use VITA and TCE services. In the past, most programs were open from February 1 through April 15.

Due to COVID-19, a number of VITA sites and all TCE sites are closed for an undetermined period of time.
For more information:

call 800-829-1040 for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site locations,
call 888-227-7669 for Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) site locations, or
call 211 for local tax assistance sites.

Wisconsin Department of Revenue lists tax assistance sites (VITA and TCE) in Wisconsin.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provides information about VITA and TCE programs, what to bring if you plan to use a VITA or TCE program, and a locator tool to find a program near you.

Want to file your taxes online for free? Check out the IRS website for free file online options.

How to Claim Tax Credits

Both federal and state taxes are due on April 15, 2021. In order to claim most tax credits, you must file a tax return, even if you would not otherwise have to file. You can e-file (no cost for federal if you make less than $72,000/year) or file through the mail with the forms listed below.

Click below to learn more about which forms and documents you will need to claim tax credits.

Federal EIC

Information (these documents may reflect tax year 2019 until federal updates are available):

Forms:

Wisconsin EIC

Information (these documents may reflect tax year 2019 until Wisconsin updates are available):

  • Wisconsin Department of Revenue information about the EIC
  • You must complete your federal taxes prior to calculating the Wisconsin EIC

Forms:

  • Wisconsin Form 1 (PDF) and Form 1 Instructions (PDF)
  • Line 27 of Form 1 will calculate Wisconsin EIC based on the federal credit

Wisconsin Homestead Credit

Information (these documents may reflect tax year 2019 until Wisconsin updates are available):

  • Wisconsin Department of Revenue Claiming Homestead Credit
  • Attach the forms listed below to your Wisconsin Form 1 (PDF) if you are filing Wisconsin state income taxes at the same time you are claiming the Homestead credit

Forms and Documents:

Federal Earned Income Credit for past years

Information (these documents may reflect tax year 2019 until federal updates are available):

Forms and Documents:

Wisconsin Homestead Credit for past years

Information (these documents may reflect tax year 2019 until Wisconsin updates are available):

Forms and Documents:

 

Other tax credits

Other tax credits may be available to you, including the Child Tax Credit, the Child and Dependent Care Credit, an Education Credit, and the Saver’s Credit. For more information, see the Get it Back campaign.

Additional Resources

Earned Income Tax Credits 2020: Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)
A four page document that provides answers to commonly asked questions about both the federal and Wisconsin Earned Income Tax Credits.

2020 Tax Credits: Get the Credit you Deserve (PDF)
A one page chart that provides a brief overview of eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credits, the Child Care Tax Credit, and the Homestead Credit.

Créditos tributarios de 2020: ¡Obtenga el crédito que se merece! (PDF En Español)
Una gráfica de una página que proporciona un breve resumen de los requisitos con los que debe cumplir para recibir el Crédito tributario por ingreso del trabajo (Earned Income Tax Credit), el Crédito por gastos de cuidado de hijos menores (Child Care Tax Credit) y el Crédito por vivienda familiar (Homestead Credit).

More Money For You: 2020 Earned Income Tax Credits (PDF)
A one page document that provides a brief text overview of the Earned Income Tax Credits and how to claim them.

Más dinero para usted: Crédito tributario por ingreso del trabajo 2020 (PDF En Español)
Una página que proporciona un breve resumen de texto de los Créditos del impuesto sobre la renta del trabajo y cómo reclamarlos.

Other Federal Tax Credits

The national Get it Back Campaign provides information on several federal tax credits that are not discussed in-depth on this site, including the Child Tax Credit, Child & Dependent Care Credit, Education Tax Credit, and Saver’s Credit.

Note: This website is an educational resource only. For specific tax questions, seek professional tax assistance or contact an IRS Technical Assistance Center or call the tax hotline at 800-829-1040.

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