On January 31, the IRS will be sponsoring their 8th annual “EITC Awareness Day” to help increase the awareness of the tax credit for filers, and to spread awareness of how much EITC helps working families and their communities.
The 38-year-old Earned Income Tax Credit has provided low-wage working families with the assistance they need to support their families. Yet each year many eligible workers go without claiming the credit. The EITC can provide low-income families with a much needed boost, but many of those who don’t claim are actually those who are eligible for the first time, possibly because of changes to their financial, marital and parental statuses.
The IRS estimates four of five eligible workers claim and get EITC, however rural and non-traditional families — such as grandparents raising grandchildren — childless workers, and non-English speaking taxpayers are among those who most frequently overlook the credit.
Unlike other tax credits, both EITC eligibility and the amount of tax credit you are eligible for is based on several factors. These include, the amount of your income, or combined incomes if married, whether you have qualifying children and how many. Workers over 25 without children also may qualify for EITC.
The credit is straightforward, and worth exploring. Simply file a tax form along with the form Schedule EIC. No additional mathematical calculations are required. If one does need assistance filing their taxes, myfreetaxes.com is a great resource that provides support. Both state and federal taxes can be filed for free.
People may qualify for the EITC even if they had no federal tax withheld and would not otherwise be required to file. However, you still must file tax forms and claim the credit to get it.
- The online EITC Assistant at can help filers determine their eligibility and estimate the amount of the credit they are eligible for.
- The IRS also offers several free options to claim the EITC, such as Myfreetaxes.com, FreeFile and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance
- Free help preparing EITC tax returns is also available at many volunteer income tax assistance sites. Locate a volunteer site near you on IRS.GOV and selecting the VITA Locator tool or call the IRS at 1-800-906-9887.
Help spread the word about the EITC on January 31st!
- Cover photo courtesy of Simon Cunningham. View his Flickr photostream here.
- Tax form photo courtesy of “401(K) 2012. View their Flickr photostream here.