More Americans Will Qualify for This Extra $2,000 Tax Credit in 2022: Do You?

If you’re aiming to save more money on your taxes, a Saver’s Credit might do the trick. Formerly known as the Retirement Savings Contributions Credit, this tax break can knock off up to $1,000 ($2,000 if married) on your tax bill. It’s a generous IRS incentive designed to encourage more people to stash money away for retirement.

There’s a small catch, though: You have to contribute to an eligible retirement account and meet income qualifications. Fortunately, the IRS just released the new income ranges for 2022, and they are bigger than ever.

We’ll break down the latest Saver’s Credit qualifications and help you determine if you’re in the running for this offer.

Image source: Getty Images.

The secret Saver’s Credit

The Saver’s Credit has been around for two decades, but it doesn’t get the attention it deserves. This nonrefundable tax credit comes in handy when you owe money during tax time.

Let’s say you’re in the hole for $1,000. The Saver’s Credit provides a dollar-for-dollar reduction to your tax tab. If you’re single and qualify for a $1,000 credit, you could reduce your tax bill to zero.

While the IRS wants to encourage more low- and moderate-income earners to save more, putting money under your mattress won’t cut it. You have to contribute to a qualified retirement savings account to be eligible for the Saver’s Credit. Here are a few accounts that can get you one step closer to this credit:

401(k), 403(b), and 457(b) plans
Traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs
SIMPLE IRA and SEP-IRA
ABLE savings accounts
Thrift Savings Plan

Passing the income test

Since the Saver’s Credit is essentially free money from the government, the tax benefits are only available to individuals within specific income ranges.

The 2022 income ranges are higher than they were in 2021. That means more Americans can qualify for this savings incentive. To check your eligibility, monitor your adjusted gross income (AGI). This number will determine if you’re eligible to claim the Saver’s Credit during the 2022 tax year — the one for which your tax return is due by April 2023.

If you’re married filing jointly, your AGI must be $68,000 or less (up from $66,000 in 2021); head of household filers, AGI of $51,000 or less (up from $49,500 in 2021); and all other filers, AGI of $34,000 or less (up from $33,000 in 2021).

Apply the credit rates

Everyone won’t qualify for the same credit amount. Your income and filing status will determine how much you can knock off your tax bill. There are three credit rates: 50%, 20%, and 10%. The less money you make, the higher credit rate you qualify for.

The maximum contribution amount that can count toward a single person’s credit is $2,000. That means a single person is eligible for a maximum $1,000 credit if they contribute at least $2,000 to a retirement savings account and qualify for the 50% credit rate. A married couple can qualify for a maximum $2,000 credit. If you’re wondering what you qualify for, below is a chart to calculate the credit you’ll receive.

2022 Saver’s Credit rate and AGI eligibility, by filing status

Credit

Married Filing Jointly

(AGI)

Head of Household

(AGI)

All Other Filers

(AGI)

50% of your contribution

$0 to $41,000

$0 to $30,750

$0 to $20,500

20% of your contribution

$41,001 to $44,000

$30,751 to $33,000

$20,501 to $22,000

10% of your contribution

$44,001 to $68,000

$33,001 to $51,000

$22,001 to $34,000

0% of your contribution

Over $68,000

Over $51,000

Over $34,000

DATA SOURCE: IRS.

Don’t miss this extra credit

The Saver’s Credit can lead to big savings on your tax return. It’s especially helpful for individuals who don’t have taxes taken out of their paycheck. Instead of being stuck with a tax bill at the end of the year, the Saver’s Credit can be applied to your balance and potentially wipe away your entire liability.

If you think you’re going to owe taxes, consider contributing to a retirement account. Aim to contribute the max so you can set aside more money for retirement. With the increased income ranges, you may be eligible for a bigger tax credit than you expected.

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