The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) helps low-to-moderate income workers and families get a tax break.
The average amount of EITC received by individuals nationwide averages around $2,461. In Oregon, many individuals and families do not participate and overlook this important credit.
Get your taxes prepared for free by IRS-certified volunteers. Schedule an appointment today and see if you qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit.
As long as you file a tax return, you are able to apply for the Earned Income Tax Credit, although not everyone who files will qualify to get an EITC refund. If you did not apply for the EITC refund before you prepared and sent your taxes, you can file for the EITC if you file an addendum. Check with your tax preparer or get more information from the IRS website about applying for the tax years.
To qualify, you must have earned income from working for someone or be self-employed, running or owning a business or farm. You also must meet these basic rules:
No. You can be eligible based on your Adjusted Gross and Earned Income, if you are filing jointly with someone or separately, and how many children/dependents are living with you. You do not qualify for EITC if you are married but filing separately. You can use the IRS online assistant to help you find out if you qualify.
A qualifying child is a child who is in your household and in your care in the United States for more than half the year.
Relationship: A qualifying child can be your son, daughter, adopted child, step-child, foster child, or a descendant of any of these, such as your grandchild. A qualifying child could also be your brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, step-brother, step-sister, or a descendant of any of these such as your niece or nephew
Age: At the end of the filing year, your qualifying child was younger than you (or your spouse if you are filing a joint return) and younger than 19; or at the end of the filing year, your qualifying child was younger than you (or your spouse if you are filing a joint return), younger than 24 and a full-time student; or at the end of the filing year, your qualifying child was any age and permanently and totally disabled.
Only one person can claim the same qualifying child. If a child qualifies for more than one person and one of the persons is a parent or parents, the non-parent can claim the child only if their Adjusted Gross Income is higher than the parent(s).
A qualifying child cannot file a joint return for the tax year unless the child and the child’s spouse did not have to file separately.
Be sure to ask your tax preparer if you have any questions about whether you have a qualifying child in your household. For more information on qualifying children, visit the IRS website.
Unfortunately, there are certain types of income and payments that people received that are not considered earned income to qualify for the EITC refund. Here is a quick list of the types of income that alone would not be considered earned income for the EITC refund:
Below are some other types of income that are not considered for the EITC refund:
If you have any doubts or unsure if any of these types of incomes apply to you, please check with your tax preparer.
Yes. Workers who didn’t have income tax withheld or pay estimated income tax are eligible to receive the EITC refund. Since income tax is not the only form of taxation, you should file and apply for the EITC even if you have not made enough to make filing necessary.
Yes. Tax laws, regulations, and your circumstances change from year to year. Marriage, deaths, children, change of employment, are some of the life changes that will affect your eligibility as well. Not qualifying in the past does not automatically mean that you will not qualify this year.
If you filed your taxes from a previous year but didn’t claim the EITC, you can file an amended return and receive the EITC refund for the previous year if you complete the paperwork in a timely manner. If you didn’t receive the refund because you didn’t file, or because you weren’t aware you could claim a child that was living with you, you must file a separate return for each year in which you qualified. You can generally only file an amended return for the past three years. Use Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return to file an amended return.
It is good to ask your tax preparer or a professional, but it is always wise to gather information for yourself. The IRS website has reliable information on the EITC.
You can also use their online tax assistant to help you find out if you qualify for the EITC.
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