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Published:   |   Last Updated: February 8, 2024

Tax benefits and resources for people experiencing homelessness

As of January 2020, EndHomelessness.org reports that there were over 580,000 homeless people in the United States. This includes individuals who have no housing or shelter, working taxpayers who are unable to secure housing due to costs, and those who live in shelters. If someone you know is experiencing homelessness, the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) asks you to share this important information with them about tax benefits and other helpful resources.

Many people in the homeless community have taxable income sources that may qualify them for various benefits, including:

  • Earned Income Tax Credit, available to taxpayers with low to moderate earned income, with or without a qualifying child.
  • Education Credits, available to taxpayers who incurred qualified education expenses. Some education credits are refundable.
  • Health Care Premium Tax Credit, available to eligible individuals and families afford premiums for health insurance purchased through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
  • Child Tax Credit, available to individuals with qualifying children. Portions of this credit are available even those who do not have income.
  • Recovery Rebate Credit, potentially available to individuals who did not receive an economic impact payment.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs offer free basic tax return preparation to qualified individuals.

Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) are also available to assist low-income individuals who have a tax dispute with the IRS. LITCs also provide education and outreach to individuals who speak English as a second language.

Some people in the homeless community are also victims of identity theft. Sometimes family members or others inappropriately claim homeless individuals as dependents. Others file tax returns using a homeless person’s identity. It can be difficult for homeless individuals to resolve identity theft issues. Read more about identity theft here.

There are many resources to help people experiencing homelessness. Please help TAS share this with others who may not have access to these important online resources.

TAS Resources

IRS Resources

Other Resources


Visit the Taxpayer Advocate Service’s Get Help center for a list of tax topics to assist you with resolving many tax related issues.

For more updates from the Taxpayer Advocate Service, visit the news and information center to read the latest tax tips, blogs, alerts and more.