The Earned Income Tax Credit

For nearly 40 years, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) has been helping low- to moderate-income workers by giving them a boost to their income.

Here are some things to know about this important credit:

  • Review your eligibility. If you worked and earned under $51,567, you may be eligible for EITC. If your financial or family situation has changed, you should review the EITC eligibility rules. You might qualify for EITC this year even if you didn’t in the past. Workers who qualify for EITC must file a federal income tax return and specifically claim the credit to get it, even if they do not have a requirement to file a return.
  • Know the rules. Before claiming EITC, you need to understand the rules to be sure you qualify. It’s important to get it and get it right. There are several factors to consider:
    • Your filing status can’t be Married Filing Separately.
    • You must have a valid Social Security number for yourself, your spouse if married, and any qualifying child listed on your tax return.
    • You must have earned income. Earned income includes earnings such as wages, self-employment and farm income.
    • You may be married or single, with or without children to qualify. If you don’t have children, you must also meet age, residency and dependency rules.
    • If you are a member of the U.S. Armed Forces serving in a combat zone, special rules apply.
  • Lower your tax or get a refund. The EITC reduces your federal tax and could result in a refund. If you qualify, the credit could be worth up to $6,044. The average credit was $2,355 last year.

IRS Circular 230 Disclosure

Pursuant to IRS Regulations, we inform you that any tax advice provided or implied on this post (including attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer.

While the information contained in this post is believed to be reliable, we cannot guarantee its accuracy or completeness.