EITC Home Page--It’s easier than ever to find out if you qualify for EITC
EITC, the Earned Income Tax Credit, sometimes called EIC is a tax credit to help you keep more of what you earned. It is a refundable federal income tax credit for low to moderate income working individuals and families. Congress originally approved the tax credit legislation in 1975 in part to offset the burden of social security taxes and to provide an incentive to work. When EITC exceeds the amount of taxes owed, it results in a tax refund to those who claim and qualify for the credit.
Find Specific EITC Information for:
EITC Assistant--Find out if you qualify for EITC this year
Find out if you are eligible for EITC by answering questions and providing basic income information. The EITC Assistant also estimates the amount of your EITC. Click here for the English version of the EITC Assistant or o hag click aquí para seleccionar la Versión en Español del Asistente,
Quick Guide to Topics on this Page (please scroll down for the following topics and more)
Guides to Find Everything EITC Online
Do You Qualify for EITC?
To qualify for EITC you must have earned income from employment, self-employment or another source and meet certain rules. Also, 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.
EITC Rules for Everyone
Qualifying Child Rules
If you and your spouse, if filing a joint return, meet the EITC rules for Everyone and you have a child who lives with you, you may be eligible for EITC. Your child must pass the relationship, age, residency, and joint return tests to be your qualifying child. All four tests must be met for each child you claim. Find the rules for a qualifying child for EITC here.
Rules for those Without a Qualifying Child
If you and your spouse, if filing a joint return, meet the EITC Rules for Everyone and you do not have a qualifying child, you may be eligible for EITC. Find the rules for those without a qualifying child here.
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.
Special EITC Rules
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 rules.
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.
Need Help Preparing your Return?
Be prepared to get the EITC you earned.
Gather your important documents and make sure you have all the information you need to claim EITC. Find what information you need to prepare your return claiming EITC here.
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 EITC and other refundable credits. Find a location for free tax return preparation by volunteers here.
Free File and Fillable Tax Forms are available for do-it-yourselfers.
Choose a Paid Preparer with Care.
If you pay someone to do your taxes, choose wisely. 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 Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC or EIC), 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.
Facts about Other Child Related Tax Benefits
- Ten Facts about the Child Tax Credit
- Ten Things to Know about the Child and Dependent Care Credit
- Seven Facts about the Expanded Adoption Credit
- Six Important Facts about Dependents and Exemptions
Don’t Overlook State and Local Credits
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 with EITC.
Advance EITC or AEITC news. Legislation signed into law August 10, 2010 repeals the Advance Earned Income Tax Credit. Recipients will not receive Advance EITC on their paychecks after December 31, 2010. Those who received AEITC on their paychecks during 2010, need to file a tax return to report the amount received.
Other Resources and Tips for Claiming EITC
Note: You need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader software installed to download, view and/or print forms and publications marked PDF. Download the Reader for free from the Adobe website.
- Additional EITC-Related Publications and Tools.
- Errors can delay your refund or result in IRS denying your EITC claim. Find out the most common errors in claiming EITC here.
- Do you have questions about EITC? We have the answers. Find the most common questions and answers related to EITC here.
- Read more about EITC in Publication 596 in English (PDF) or click here for the Publication 596SP,Credito por Ingreso del Trabajo (PDF)..
- The Taxpayer Advocate Service, Learn how TAS can help you, toolkit is available to you 24 hours a day, seven days a week and makes it easier for you to understand basic tax information.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 not resolved through normal channels, or who believe an IRS system or procedure is not working as it should. Find the Tax Toolkit sponsored by TAS here(you leave irs.gov to visit the toolkit).
- Low Income Taxpayer Clinics represent taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service. They also assist taxpayers in audits, appeals, collection disputes and can help taxpayers respond to IRS notices and help correct account problems. Find more information on Low Income Taxpayer Clinics and locations here.
Resources and Tips if you receive a Notice from IRS or are Audited.
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. Visit the Taxpayer Rights Corner.
Did you receive a Notice?
Reply to any IRS correspondence to get the EITC you deserve. Find information on Understanding Your IRS Notice here. Find IRS Notices listed by the notice number here.
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. Use 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:
- Form 8862 Information to Claim Earned Income Credit After Disallowance (PDF)
- Form 8862SP Information to Claim Earned Income Credit After Disallowance (Spanish Version) (PDF)
IRS Reports on the Earned Income Tax Credit
The IRS is partnering with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) to help search for missing children. For more information:
Visit the NCMEC website.
Call NCMEC at 1-800-843-5678