Earned Income Tax Credit
The EITC is for working people who earn less than $57,414. This year, the amount of the credit you could receive is up to $6,728 if you claim qualifying children or up to $1,502 if you don’t claim qualifying children. The amount of the credit depends on:
- whether you are single or married
- if you have no children or the number of qualifying children you have
- the amount you earned
Here are the rules to claim the credit . . .
- Generally must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien all year
- Must work and have earned income
- Must have a valid Social Security number issued on or before the due date of the return (including extensions)
- May not have more than $10,000 of investment income (such as interest)
- Married but separated taxpayers who don’t file a joint return may qualify to claim the EITC if they have a qualifying child and if they meet certain other requirements.
- May not be a qualifying child of another person
- May not file Form 2555 (related to foreign earned income)
You have to file a federal income tax return to get the EITC even if you owe no tax or are not required to file. The EITC provides a boost to help pay your bills or save for a rainy day.
If so, your earned income must be less than . . .
- $21,430 ($27,380 if married filing a joint return) with no qualifying children who have valid SSNs
- $42,158 ($48,108 if married filing a joint return) with one qualifying child who has a valid SSN
- $47,915 ($53,865 if married filing a joint return) with two qualifying children who have valid SSNs
- $51,464 ($57,414 if married filing a joint return) with three or more qualifying children who have valid SSNs Special rules may apply for members of the U.S. Armed Forces in combat zones, members of the clergy, and those with disability retirement income.
To be a qualifying child for the credit . . .
- The child must meet the relationship, age, residency, and joint return tests described at www.irs.gov/eitc or in Publication 596, Earned Income Credit.
Here are common errors to avoid . . .
- Claiming a child as a qualifying child who does not meet the relationship, age or residency tests
- Underreporting or overreporting income or expenses
- Social Security number and last name mismatches
If you claim the EITC, the IRS can’t release your refund until midFebruary. Errors on the tax return can cause a delay in processing your claim for the tax credits.
Go online or call us toll free . . .
- Go to www.irs.gov/eitc for free information and to check out the interactive EITC Assistant to see if you qualify for the credit and estimate the amount of your EITC.
- Visit a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site for free tax help and preparation. Go to www.irs.gov/VITA or call 1-800-906- 9887 to find a site.
- Use Free File at www.irs.gov/FreeFile for free online filing through commercially available tax preparation software.
- Go to www.irs.gov/chooseataxpro to help locate a qualified tax return preparer.
- Call 1-800-829-4059 if you have access to TTY/TDD equipment for the hearing impaired.