With tax season in full swing, don’t forget about the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The EITC, also referred to as the Earned Income Credit (EIC), is a federal tax credit available to low-income workers. The EIC is a refundable credit. This means that even if you have no tax liability, you could receive a tax refund if you file a tax return and meet the eligibility requirements.
You might qualify for the EIC if:
- You have earned income from employment or self-employment,
- You have a valid Social Security Number,
- Your filing status is not “married, filing separately,”
- You are a U.S. citizen or resident alien,
- You are not a dependent on another tax return,
- You have investment income of $3,300 or less,
- You meet the Adjusted Gross Income requirements.
The income limits vary depending on the number of children in your household. Even if you do not have children, you can still qualify for the EIC if you are between the ages of 25 and 65 and meet the income guidelines.
Your adjusted gross income must be less than:
- $46,227 if you have three or more qualifying children ($51,567 if married filing jointly),
- $43,038 if you have two qualifying children ($48,378 if married filing jointly),
- $37,870 if you have one qualifying child ($43,210 if married filing jointly), or
- $14,340 if you do not have any qualifying children ($19,680 if married filing jointly).
To check your eligibility, you can use the EITC Assistant Tool on the IRS website at: www.irs.gov It is also important to remember that any refund you receive because of the EIC cannot be counted as income for benefit programs such as Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), FoodShare benefits, and low-income housing.
The refund will also be excluded as an asset or resource for at least 12 months after you receive it.
Free help with filing your tax return is available through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program. To find the nearest VITA site in your community go to the IRS website at: www.irs.gov or call 1-800-906-9887.