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EITC Home Page--It’s easier than ever to find out if you qualify for EITC



EITC, the Earned Income Tax Credit, sometimes called EIC is a tax credit to help you keep more of what you earned. It is a refundable federal income tax credit for low to moderate income working individuals and families. Congress originally approved the tax credit legislation in 1975 in part to offset the burden of social security taxes and to provide an incentive to work. When EITC exceeds the amount of taxes owed, it results in a tax refund to those who claim and qualify for the credit.

To qualify, you must meet certain requirements and file a tax return, even if you do not owe any tax or are not required to file.


Find Specific EITC Information for:

EITC Central hosts the Partner Toolkit, the Tax Return Preparer Toolkit, Marketing Express and Information for the Press.

EITC Assistant--Find out if you qualify for EITC this year

Find out if you are eligible for EITC by answering questions and providing basic income information. The EITC Assistant also estimates the amount of your EITC. Click here for the English version of the EITC Assistant or o hag click aquí para seleccionar la Versión en Español del Asistente,

Quick Guide to Topics on this Page (please scroll down for the following topics and more)

  • Do You Qualify for EITC?
  • Need Help Preparing Your Return?
  • Find information on EITC and other Public Benefits and Other Child-Related Tax Benefits
  • Other Resources and Tips for Claiming EITC
  • Resources and Tips if You Receive a Notice from IRS or are Audited
  • IRS Reports on EITC
  • Missing Children Link

Guides to Find Everything EITC Online

Do You Qualify for EITC?

To qualify for EITC you must have earned income from employment, self-employment or another source and meet certain rules. Also, you must either meet the additional rules for workers without a qualifying child or have a child that meets all the qualifying child rules for you.

Earned Income

Find out more about what is earned income here.

EITC Rules for Everyone

Find out about the rules you and your spouse, if you file a joint return, must meet to claim EITC.

Qualifying Child Rules

If you and your spouse, if filing a joint return, meet the EITC rules for Everyone and you have a child who lives with you, you may be eligible for EITC. Your child must pass the relationship, age, residency, and joint return tests to be your qualifying child. All four tests must be met for each child you claim. Find the rules for a qualifying child for EITC here.

Rules for those Without a Qualifying Child

If you and your spouse, if filing a joint return, meet the EITC Rules for Everyone and you do not have a qualifying child, you may be eligible for EITC. Find the rules for those without a qualifying child here.

EITC Income Limits, Maximum Credit Amounts and Tax Law Updates

See the EITC Income Limits, Maximum Credit Amounts and Tax Law Updates for the current year, previous years and the upcoming year.

Special EITC Rules

Special EITC rules for members of the military, ministers, members of the clergy, those receiving disability benefits and those impacted by disasters. Read more about the special rules.

Disability and EITC

Many persons with disabilities or persons having children with disabilities qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit or EITC. Find out more about Disability and EITC.

Need Help Preparing your Return?

Be prepared to get the EITC you earned.

Gather your important documents and make sure you have all the information you need to claim EITC. Find what information you need to prepare your return claiming EITC here.


Free Help Preparing your Return

Visit a volunteer site. Trained community volunteers can help you by preparing your return and determining if you qualify for the EITC and other refundable credits. Find a location for free tax return preparation by volunteers here.

Free File and Fillable Tax Forms are available for do-it-yourselfers.

Find information on FreeFile and fillable tax forms here.

Choose a Paid Preparer with Care.

If you pay someone to do your taxes, choose wisely. Check here for tips on choosing a qualified tax return preparer.

Taxpayer Assistance Centers

IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TAC) are your source for personal tax help when you believe your tax issue cannot be handled online or by phone, and you want face-to-face tax assistance. Click here to locate the IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center nearest them and find a list of local offices, days open, and hours of service.

EITC and other Public Benefits

Refunds received from Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC or EIC), Child Tax Credit (CTC) or any other tax credit are not considered income for any federal or federally funded public benefit program. Also, under the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010, your credit or other tax refund is not counted as a resource for at least 12 months from when your receive it. If you save your refund, federal or federally funded agencies will not use it to determine your eligibility or the amount of your benefit. This new rule is for refunds received after December 31, 2009 and through 2012. It is always best to check with your local benefit coordinator to find out if your benefits fall under this provision.

Facts about Other Child Related Tax Benefits

Don’t Overlook State and Local Credits

If you qualify to claim EITC on your federal income tax return, you also may be eligible for a similar credit on your state or local income tax return. Twenty-two states, the District of Columbia, New York City, and Montgomery County, Maryland, offer their residents an earned income tax credit. Find more information on states with EITC.

Advance EITC or AEITC news. Legislation signed into law August 10, 2010 repeals the Advanced Earned Income Tax Credit. Recipients will not receive Advance EITC on their paychecks after December 31, 2010. Those who received AEITC on their paychecks during 2010, need to file a tax return to report the amount received.

Other Resources and Tips for Claiming EITC

Note: You need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader software installed to download, view and/or print forms and publications marked PDF. Download the Reader for free from the Adobe website.

Resources and Tips if you receive a Notice from IRS or are Audited.

Taxpayer Rights

Whether you file a Form 1040EZ or a complicated corporate return, you will benefit from knowing your rights as a taxpayer and being familiar with the IRS's obligations to protect them. The goal of the Taxpayer Rights Corner is to be your one-stop shop for taxpayer rights information during every step of your interaction with the IRS. Visit the Taxpayer Rights Corner.

Did you receive a Notice?

Reply to any IRS correspondence to get the EITC you deserve. Find information on Understanding Your IRS Notice here. Find IRS Notices listed by the notice number here.

Examination Process

The process of selecting an income tax return for examination is usually identified from computer programs or information that indicates a return has incorrect amounts. The examination may or may not result in a change to your tax or credits. Use the following links for additional information:

Claiming EITC after IRS disallows the credit after an audit. If your earned income tax credit (EITC) for any year after 1996 was disallowed or reduced by the IRS, you may need to complete an additional form the next time you claim the credit. Click on the following links for the forms:

IRS Reports on the Earned Income Tax Credit


Missing Children

The IRS is partnering with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) to help search for missing children. For more information:

  • Visit the NCMEC website.
  • Call NCMEC at 1-800-843-5678


Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 04-Feb-2013