IRS Tax Tip 2019-139, October 7, 2019
The earned income tax credit benefits working people with low-to-moderate income. Last year, the average credit was $2,445. EITC not only reduces the amount of tax someone owes, but may also give them a refund, even if they don't owe any tax at all.
Here are a few things people should know about this credit:
- Taxpayers may move in and out of eligibility for the credit throughout the year. This may happen after major life events. Because of this, it's a good idea for people to find out if they qualify.
- To qualify, people must meet certain requirements and file a federal tax return. They must file even if they don't owe any tax or aren't otherwise required to file.
- Taxpayers qualify based on their income, the number of children they have, and the filing status they use on their tax return. For a child to qualify, they must live with the taxpayer for more than six months of the year.
Here's a quick look at the income limits for the different filing statuses. Those who work and earn less than these amounts may qualify.
Married filing jointly:
- Zero children: $21,370
- One child: $46,884
- Two children: $52,493
- Three or more children: $55,952
Head of household and single:
- Zero children: $15,570
- One child: $41,094
- Two children: $46,703
- Three or more children: $50,162
The maximum credit amounts are based on the number of children a taxpayer has. They are the same for all filing statuses:
- Zero children: $529
- One child: $3,526
- Two children: $5,828
- Three or more children: $6,557
Taxpayers who file using the status married filing separately cannot claim EITC.