The Earned Income Tax Credit, EITC or EIC, is a benefit for working people with low to moderate income. To qualify, you must meet certain requirements and file a tax return, even if you do not owe any tax or are not required to file. EITC reduces the amount of tax you owe and may give you a refund.
When Can I Expect My Refund?
If you claim the earned income tax credit (EITC) or the additional child tax credit (ACTC) on your tax return, by law the IRS, can’t issue your refund before mid-February. Find out more on when to expect your refund.
Do I Qualify for EITC?
To qualify for EITC you must have earned income from working for someone or from running or owning a business or farm and meet basic rules. And, you must either meet additional rules for workers without a qualifying child or have a child that meets all the qualifying child rules for you.
Use the EITC Assistant to see if you qualify for tax years: 2018, 2017, and 2016. The EITC Assistant helps you find out your filing status, if your child is a qualifying child, if you are eligible and estimate the amount of the EITC you may get.
Income Limits and Table
See the EITC Income Limits, Maximum Credit Amounts and Tax Law Updates for the current year, previous years and the upcoming tax year.
You need to file a tax return to claim EITC. Find out:
- the documents you need
- the common errors to watch for
- the consequences of filing an EITC return with an error
- how to get help preparing your return
- what you need to do if your EITC was denied in a previous year
- how to claim the credit for earlier tax years
Received a Notice
We send letters about EITC that may:
- suggest you claim EITC if you do qualify
- ask you to send information to verify your EITC claim
- provide important information about your claim
This letter/notice page lets you know what you need to do if you receive a letter or notice from us about EITC.
Visit EITC Central for tools and information specifically geared to IRS partners, community organizations, employers, government agencies and offices, and tax preparers.
- Outreach Toolkit
- Refundable Credit Toolkit for Education Credits and the Child Tax Credit
- Tax Return Preparer Toolkit
- Marketing Express
- Information for the Press
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
Other Refundable Credits
Keep More of What You Earn
The Earned Income Tax Credit helps low- to moderate-income workers and families get a tax break.
EITC and Refundable Credit Central
Tools and resources for IRS partners, community organizations, employers, government agencies and offices, and tax preparers.