If your 2019 earned income was more than your 2021 earned income, you can use your 2019 earned income to determine the earned income credit (EIC) on your 2021 tax return. You may benefit from this provision if your income went down after 2019 due to the pandemic, or any other reason for that matter, and you’re eligible for the EIC. Be prepared to provide the amount of your 2019 earned income at tax time if we don’t already have it.
Last but not least, for 2021 only, the minimum age to claim the EIC without any children decreased from age 25 to age 19 for most taxpayers (age 24 for certain students), and the maximum age limit was eliminated. Thus, if you’re a recent high school graduate or retirement age, you might qualify for the childless EIC for 2021, assuming you meet all the other requirements.