Help Desk FAQ



What is the EITC and how do I get it?

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) helps low-to-moderate-income working taxpayers get more money back when they file their federal income tax return. A tax credit means that you will be eligible for a larger tax refund because it reduces the amount of money you may owe the federal government.

You must file a federal income tax return in order to claim the EITC—even if your income is so low that you normally would not file a tax return. You can get a check back even if you don’t owe any taxes.

The income guidelines are more generous for people who have dependent children, but very low-income singles and married couples without children may also benefit.

To qualify for the EITC, you must have income from a job or self-employment, and your income must be below the required levels. (Child support does not need to be included when figuring your income.) Farm owners and small business owners also qualify.

To claim the EITC, you must have a Social Security number (SSN). You also must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien for the whole year, or a nonresident alien married to a U.S. citizen or resident alien and filing a joint return. (You are a resident alien if you have a “green card,” which gives you the right to live and work in the U.S.) 

Learn all about the EITC, including credit amounts and income limits, in Consumer Action's Get Credit for Your Hard Work.




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