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Understanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) helps eligible individuals and families get a tax break. If you qualify, you can use the credit to reduce the taxes you owe – and maybe increase your refund. Scroll down to find out if United Way RealSense can help you receive the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

According to IRS.gov.

Basic Qualifying Rules

To qualify for the EITC, you must:

  • Show proof of earned income
  • Have investment income below $3,650 in the tax year you claim the credit
  • Have a valid Social Security number
  • Claim a certain filing status
    • To qualify for the EITC, you must file your tax return using one of the following statuses:
      • Married filing jointly
      • Head of household
      • Qualifying widow or widower
      • Single

      You can’t claim the EITC if your filing status is married filing separately.

  • Be a U.S. citizen or a resident alien all year


Special Qualifying Rules

The EITC has special qualifying rules for:

If you’re unsure if you qualify for the EITC, you can use IRS Qualification Assistant.


Claim the EITC Without a Qualifying Child

You are eligible to claim the EITC without a qualifying child if you meet all the following rules. You (and your spouse if you file a joint tax return) must:

  • Meet the EITC basic qualifying rules
  • Have your main home in the United States for more than half the tax year
    • The United States includes the 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. military bases. It does not include U.S. possessions such as Guam, the Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico
  • Not be claimed as a qualifying child on anyone else’s tax return
  • Be at least age 25 but under age 65 at the end of the tax year (usually Dec. 31)

You are not eligible to claim the EITC if:

  • Your filing status is married filing separately
  • You filed a Form 2555 (related to foreign earned income)
  • You or your spouse are nonresident aliens.

Contact Us

Questions about your eligibility or ready to get started? Schedule your appointment with RealSense.

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