January 2022 Resources
We find the following information and community resources to be helpful. While individual eligibility is not determined by N2N, we wanted to share them in case you may be interested. For further information, please contact the resources directly.
VITA Free Tax Preparation
This free program helps community members file taxes and begins in February 2022. Neighbor to Neighbor is an official assistance location, in addition to the Old Town Library and the Fort Collins Senior Center.
Check back for scheduled hours and helpful tips on what to bring.
Free Online Education Classes
Colorado Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) is offering free online resident education classes. To learn more and to sign up, visit the links below:
A Little Means a Lot: Taking Small Steps Can Make a Big Difference (January 19th, 2-3pm)
The Happiness Effect (February 9th, 2-3pm)
College Plans Sidetracked by the Pandemic?
Finish your education, at no cost to you, with a Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative (COSI) Grant
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, many students either paused their college enrollment or delayed plans to attend. To help Colorado students complete their degree and get back to work, Front Range Community College is now offering two grant opportunities at no cost to participating students. These grants help students re-enroll and pay for the rest of their schooling, as well as provide support services, to ensure they can complete their program of study.
The “Finish What you Started” grant is geared towards re-engaging students who have either been out of school for more than two years, or who have applied to the college but did not enroll in classes during the pandemic. Meanwhile, the “Back to Work” grant supports workers displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic, including those who were laid off, lost earnings, had offers rescinded or were unable to enter the workforce due to adverse economic conditions. This program aims to support Coloradans who have been out of school and are now studying in programs aligned with Colorado Top Jobs, including fields such as health care, education, early childhood, and information technology.
To learn more about eligibility and to apply for these grants, visit frontrange.edu/finish. Spring enrollment deadline is January 18, but the program will be available in the summer and fall as well.
Child Tax Credit – Important Information for the 2022 Tax Filing Season
The Child Tax Credit was nearly doubled in 2021. Some families signed up and received advanced payments between July and December, equal to half the amount they are eligible to receive. Other families may not have known about the tax credit or how to sign up – but it’s not too late. Whichever category your family falls into, ALL families must file their 2022 taxes in order to get either the second half or the entire lump sum amount.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Families receive $3,600 per child under 6 years old and $3,000 per child 6 -17 years old
- Families do not have to have filed taxes recently to get the money but must file in 2022
- This money is not counted as income so it will not affect eligibility for other benefits like SNAP, Medicaid, housing supports, disability, etc.
- All children with a social security number (SSN) are eligible even if the parent(s) do not have one. Parents can either use an SSN or apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). You can start the ITIN process here.
- Families can sign up for updates for the 2022 tax filing season at getyourrefund.org.
No Dependents? Earned Income Tax Credit May Have Options For You, Too
The expanded EITC includes workers without children or those whose children do not live with them full time
The American Rescue Plan (ARP) temporarily lowered the age of eligibility to 19 and removed the upper age limit, making 65+ workers without qualifying children also eligible to receive the tax credit. The maximum credit available for workers without dependent children increased from $543 to $1,502. It also covers low-income workers who are noncustodial parents, those with children living with them less than six months of the year, or those who care for nonbiological children they do not claim on their taxes. Additionally, the ARP includes a provision to help workers who lost their jobs due to Covid-19, allowing them to use their 2019 income to calculate EITC if no income was earned in 2021.
In order to receive any earned EITC credit, you must submit a federal tax return for 2021 and have either a social security number (SSN) or an individual tax identification number (ITIN). Free help with filing is available from VITA Free Tax Preparation programs or online services like GetYourRefund.org. More information and resources for filing a tax return and claiming the EITC can be found on the Get it Back Website.