New option for claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit and Additional Child Tax Credit


January 20, 2021

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is one of the biggest tax breaks for working people. Working families with three or more qualifying children could be eligible for up to $6,660. Workers without a qualifying child could receive up to $538.

For tax year 2020, unemployment payments and other unearned income received could affect the amount of earned income a worker can claim. However, Under the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020, people may elect to use their 2019 earned income to figure the credit if their 2019 earned income is more than their 2020 earned income. The same is true for the Additional Child Tax Credit. For details, see the instructions for Form 1040 PDF.

Remember, to get EITC, workers must file a federal income tax return — even if they aren't otherwise required to file — and specifically claim the credit.

If you, or someone you know, might be eligible for EITC, visit the EITC Assistant on