The Earned Income Tax Credit, EITC or EIC, is a benefit for working people with low to moderate income. 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. EITC reduces the amount of tax you owe and may give you a refund.
When Can I Expect My Refund?
If you claim the earned income tax credit (EITC) or the additional child tax credit (ACTC) on your tax return, by law the IRS, can’t issue your refund before mid-February. Find out more on when to expect your refund.
You qualify for EITC if:
- you have earned income and adjusted gross income within certain limits; AND
- you meet certain basic rules; AND
- you either:
- meet the rules for those without a qualifying child; OR
- have a child that meets all the qualifying child rules for you, or your spouse if you file a joint return.
Use the EITC Assistant to find out your filing status, if your child is a qualifying child, if you are eligible, and estimate the amount of the credit you may get.
Social Security Number
You, your spouse and any qualifying child you list on your tax return must each have a Social Security number that is valid for employment that was issued before the due date of your return (including extensions).
You must file:
- Married filing jointly
- Head of household
- Qualifying widow or widower
You can’t claim EITC if your filing status is married filing separately.
If you, or your spouse, are a nonresident alien, see Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens, to find out if you are eligible for EITC.