EITC For Individuals
If you’re like millions of Americans, you work hard but you don’t earn a high income and want to keep more of what you earn. The Earned Income Tax Credit also called EITC or more simply EIC is a credit for people who earn low-to-moderate incomes. EITC can reduce your taxes, and can mean a refund. In simple terms, working families and individuals keep more of what they earn.
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Use the EITC Assistant to Find out if Qualify for EITC
Find out if you are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit or EITC by answering some questions and providing basic income information. The Assistant also estimates the amount of your EITC. Click here for the English Version of the EITC Assistant o haga click aquí para seleccionar la Versión en Español del Asistente EITC.
Do You Qualify for EITC?
To qualify for Earned Income Tax Credit or EITC, you must have earned income from employment, self-employment or another source and meet certain rules. In addition, you must either meet the additional rules for Workers without a Qualifying Child or have a child that meets all the Qualifying Child Rules for you.
Earned income. Find out more about earned income here.
EITC Rules for Everyone. Find out about the rules you and your spouse, if you file a joint return, must meet to claim EITC.
Note: Forms and publications listed on this page are marked (PDF). You need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader software installed to download, view and/or print a PDF file. You can download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader FREE from the Adobe Reader download page on Adobe's Web site.
Rules for Workers without a Qualifying Child:
- You (and your spouse, if filing a joint return) must have lived in the United States for more than half the tax year,
- Either you or your spouse, if filing a joint return, must be at least age 25 but under age 65,
- You (or you spouse, if filing a joint return) cannot qualify as a dependent of another person. If you are not sure if you or your spouse qualify as a dependent, read the rules in Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information (PDF).
Qualifying Child Rules. Your child must pass the relationship, age, residency and joint return tests to be your qualifying child. All the tests must be met for each child you claim. Find the rules for a qualifying child for EITC here.
Special EITC Rules. There are special EITC rules for members of the military, ministers, members of the clergy, those receiving disability benefits and those impacted by disasters. Read more about the special EITC rules here.
Disability and EITC. Many persons with disabilities or persons having children with disabilities qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit or EITC. Find out more about Disability and EITC.
EITC Income Limits, Maximum Credit Amounts and Tax Law Updates
See the EITC Income Limits, Maximum Credit Amounts and Tax Law Updates for the current year, previous years and the upcoming year.
Need Help Preparing your Return?
Free Help Preparing your Return. Visit a volunteer site. Trained community volunteers can help you by preparing your return and determining if you qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and other refundable credits. Find a location for free tax return preparation by volunteers here.
If you qualify for EITC, Free File and Fillable Tax Forms are available for do-it-yourselfers. Find information on FreeFile and fillable tax forms here.
Choose a Paid Preparer with Care. If you pay someone to do your taxes, choose wisely. tax return preparer">Check here for tips on choosing a qualified tax return preparer.
Taxpayer Assistance Centers
IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TAC) are your source for personal tax help when you believe your tax issue cannot be handled online or by phone, and you want face-to-face tax assistance. Click here to locate the IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center nearest them and find a list of local offices, days open, and hours of service.
EITC and other Public Benefits
Refunds received from the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC or EIC), the Child Tax Credit (CTC) or any other tax credit are not considered income for any federal or federally funded public benefit program. Also, under the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010, your credit or other tax refund is not counted as a resource for at least 12 months from when your receive it. If you save your refund, federal or federally funded agencies will not use it to determine your eligibility or the amount of your benefit. This new rule is for refunds received after December 31, 2009 and through 2012. It is always best to check with your local benefit coordinator to find out if your benefits fall under this provision.
Don’t overlook the state credit
If you qualify to claim EITC on your federal income tax return, you also may be eligible for a similar credit on your state or local income tax return. Twenty-two states, the District of Columbia, New York City and Montgomery County, Maryland, offer their residents an earned income tax credit. Find more information on states and local governments with EITC.
Other Resources and Tips for Claiming EITC
Errors can delay your refund or result in IRS denying your EITC claim. Click here to find out the most common errors in claiming EITC.
Do you have questions about EITC? We have the answers. Click here for the most common questions and answers related to EITC.
What You Need to Know About Your Taxes-- Responsibilities & Benefits! This toolkit is available to you 24 hours a day, seven days a week and makes it easier for you to understand basic tax information. The IRS and the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) worked together to develop this toolkit. TAS is an independent organization within the IRS whose employees assist taxpayers who are experiencing economic harm, who are seeking help in resolving tax problems that have not been resolved through normal channels, or who believe that an IRS system or procedure is not working as it should. Click here for the Tax Toolkit (you leave irs.gov to visit the toolkit).
Resources and Tips if you receive a Notice from IRS or are Audited.
Taxpayer Rights. Whether you file a Form 1040EZ or a complicated corporate return, you will benefit from knowing your rights as a taxpayer and being familiar with the IRS's obligations to protect them. The goal of the Taxpayer Rights Corner is to be your one-stop shop for taxpayer rights information during every step of your interaction with the IRS. Click here to visit the Taxpayer Rights Corner.
Did you receive a Notice? Reply to any IRS correspondence to get the EITC you deserve. Click here to find information on Understanding Your IRS Notice. Click here to find IRS Notices listed by the notice number.
Examination Process. The process of selecting an income tax return for examination is usually identified from computer programs or information that indicates a return has incorrect amounts. The examination may or may not result in a change to your tax or credits. Click on the following links for additional information:
- Pub 3498-A The Examination Process (Examinations by Mail) (PDF)
- Pub 556 Examination of Returns, Appeal Rights, and Claims for Refund (PDF)
Claiming EITC after IRS disallows the credit after an audit. If your earned income tax credit (EITC) for any year after 1996 was disallowed or reduced by the IRS, you may need to complete an additional form the next time you claim the credit. Click on the following links for the forms:
Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs). LITCs represent low-income taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service. They also assist taxpayers in audits, appeals and collection disputes and can help taxpayers respond to IRS notices and correct account problems. Click here for more information on Low Income Taxpayer Clinics and to locate one near you.
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