Am I Eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)?

In the United States, the federal government taxes workers on their income and keeps a percentage of your earnings to pay for public services If you don’t make much money, especially if you have children, this can add up

Fortunately, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) provides relief for some workers at tax time If you qualify, the tax credit lowers the amount of taxes you are required to pay It is refundable, which means that if the credit is worth more than you owe, you get the rest of the money back in your tax refund For example, let’s look at Alicia and her child, Jo Alicia is single mother raising her 9-year old child, Jo

She earns $30,000 a year and owes $258 in taxes She qualifies for about $1482 in EITC, which is $1224 more than the amount of taxes she owes Alicia will get this extra “refundable” portion back in her tax refund There are three main eligibility requirements to claim the EITC The first is that you work and earn income

This can be from wages, salary, tips, employer-based disability, self-employment income, military pay, or union strike benefits The second requirement is that you don’t make over a certain amount of money The income limits are updated every year To check if your income is below the cutoff point, go to eitcoutreachorg/help

Use the EITC Estimator to see what your potential refund could be The third requirement is to have social security numbers that permit work your spouse, and any children claimed on your tax return Two additional eligibility rules apply to some workers First, if you’re married, you may not file separately Second, if you are not claiming any children, you must be between 25 and 64 years of age

If you are claiming children for the EITC, they must meet three criteria What is the relationship between you and the child? The child can be your son or daughter, grandchild, stepchild, adopted child, younger sibling (step, half, or whole) or their descendent, or a foster child placed with you by a government agency The child must live with you for more than half the year Any time spent away at college or in the military counts toward the residency requirement The child must be under 19 on December 31 of the tax year

If the child is a full-time student, he or she must be under 24 A child can be any age if he or she is totally and permanently disabled To receive the EITC, you must file a tax return To maximize your EITC and tax refund, file your taxes at a free tax site or use myfreetaxescom