If You Are A Low To Moderate Income Taxpayer, You Could Benefit From The Earned Income Tax Credit.

The credit could lower the tax you owe or perhaps mean a refund for you.

Here are three things you can do to determine if you qualify for the EITC and make claiming it easier:

Review your eligibility

  • You must have earned income of $54,884 or less.
  • You must file a federal tax return claiming the credit even if no tax is due and filing a return is not otherwise required.
  • Even if you didn’t qualify for the EITC in the past, you should review EITC eligibility if your household income or family situation has changed.

Learn the EITC rules

  • If you are married and file a separate return, you do not qualify for the EITC.
  • You must have a valid Social Security number for yourself, your spouse, and any qualifying child listed on your tax return.
  • You must have earned income. This includes money you earn from working as an employee or being self-employed.
  • You may be married or single.
  • You can be with or without qualifying children.
  • A child must have lived with you for more than six months in 2018.
  • The child must meet the age, residency, relationship, and joint return rule.
  • If you do not have children, you must also meet the age, residency, and dependency rules.
  • Members of the U.S. military serving in a combat zone have special rules that may apply.

Know when to expect your refund

  • If you claim the EITC, be aware that by law the IRS cannot issue the refund before mid-February.
  • This applies to the entire refund, even the portion not associated with the EITC.

If you chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with your tax return, the IRS expects these refunds to be available in taxpayer bank accounts or on debit cards starting on February 27, 2019.

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