Are you Eligible for the Earned Income Credit? It's Easy to Find Out

share

Life's a little easier with EITC.

Workers may get a larger tax refund this year because of the EITC or Earned Income Tax Credit. But to get it, you must file a tax return and claim it.

In 2016, 26 million workers received about $65.6 billion in EITC refunds. In Pennsylvania, There were 919,000 EITC claims filed last year providing @2.1 Billion in refunds, with an average refund of $2,271 per household.

If you worked last year and your income is less than $53,505, check out your eligibility for EITC. EITC can mean up to a $6,269 refund when you file a return and have qualifying children. Workers with no qualifying children could be eligible for a smaller credit, up to 506 dollars. Nationally, on average EITC adds $2,400 to refunds.

If you qualify for EITC, you must file a tax return, even if you have no tax to pay, to claim the credit. 

With the exception of some who receive certain disability income, you must work for someone, or run your own business or farm to qualify for EITC. Workers who made less than $53,505 should see if they qualify for EITC using the EITC Assistant tool at www.irs.gov/eitc. This 2016 tax year version of this tool is available January 2017.

Find out if you are eligible using the EITC Assistant; it’s available in both English and Spanish. The Assistant helps you:

  • find your filing status,
  • find out if you have a qualifying child or children,
  • verify if you are eligible for EITC, and
  • estimate the amount of your credit.

Let the Assistant help you get it and get it right. Visit www.irs.gov/eitc to find the Assistant.

Also, if you make less than $54,000, you qualify for free tax return preparation through volunteer sites. IRS-certified volunteers prepare your tax return and find out if you qualify for EITC and other refundable credits. Find a location for free tax return preparation near you at irs.gov.

Make sure you get the right amount of credit due you. If you have someone prepare your return, bring the following to your preparer:

  • A valid driver's license or other photo id card
  • Social security cards, a social security number verification letter for all persons listed on the return
  • Birth dates for all persons listed on return
  • All income statements: Forms W-2 and 1099, Social Security, unemployment, and other statements, such as pensions, stocks, interest and any documents showing taxes withheld. If you run a business or farm, records of all income earned.
  • All records of expenses, such as tuition, mortgage interest or real estate taxes. And, if you run a business or farm, records of all related expenses.
  • Copies of last year's state and federal tax returns, if you have
  • Bank routing numbers and account numbers to direct deposit any refund
  • Dependent child care information: name and address of who you paid and either the caretaker's SSN or other tax identification number
  • If you purchased coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement.
  • Both spouses to sign forms to e-file (electronically file) a joint tax return

You can find out more about the EITC and tax issues affecting you by visiting PALawHelp.org and IRS.gov.