The EITC is a refundable federal income tax credit for people who work but do not earn high incomes. If you qualify, the EITC reduces the amount of tax you owe and you may receive a refund. You may even be eligible for an advance EITC, which allows you to receive part of the credit in each paycheck during the year.
The following eligibility requirements apply:
- You must have a valid Social Security Number (SSN).
- You must be between 25 and 65 years of age, unless you have a qualifying child.
- A qualifying child must live with you in the United States (U.S.) more than half of the year.
- You must have earned income from wages or self employment. This does not include alimony, child support, welfare benefits, unemployment benefits, interest, dividends, pensions, and certain workforce payments.
- You cannot file your taxes as “Married Filing Separately.”
If you qualify you must file the Form W-5 with your employer to receive the advance EITC. All of the rules and examples can be found in Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Publication 596. Benefits can range from $2 to over $4,500, depending on earned income, number of qualifying children, and other factors. Any refund that you receive as a result of taking the EITC will not be used to determine your eligibility or how much you can receive from the following programs:
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
- Medicaid, Food Stamps, and housing assistance
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