Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for Individuals
If you’re like millions of Americans, you work hard but you don’t earn a high income and want to keep more of what
you earn. The Earned Income Tax Credit also called EITC or more simply EIC is a credit for people who earn low-to-
moderate incomes. EITC can reduce your taxes, and can mean a refund. In simple terms, working families and
individuals keep more of what they earn.
Do You Qualify for EITC?
To qualify for Earned Income Tax Credit or EITC, you must have earned income from employment, self-
employment or another source and meet certain rules. In addition, you must either meet the additional rules for
Workers without a Qualifying Child or have a child that meets all the Qualifying Child Rules for you.
Rules for Workers without a Qualifying Child:
* You (and your spouse, if filing a joint return) must have lived in the United States for more than half the tax year,
* Either you or your spouse, if filing a joint return, must be at least age 25 but under age 65,
* You (or you spouse, if filing a joint return) cannot qualify as a dependent of another person. If you are not sure if
you or your spouse qualify as a dependent, read the rules in Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction,
and Filing Information.
EITC and other Public Benefits
Refunds received from the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC or EIC), the Child Tax Credit (CTC) or any other tax
credit are not considered income for any federal or federally funded public benefit program. Also, under the Tax
Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010, your credit or other tax refund is
not counted as a resource for at least 12 months from when your receive it. If you save your refund, federal or
federally funded agencies will not use it to determine your eligibility or the amount of your benefit. This new rule is
for refunds received after December 31, 2009 and through 2012. It is always best to check with your local benefit
coordinator to find out if your benefits fall under this provision.
Don’t overlook the state credit
If you qualify to claim EITC on your federal income tax return, you also may be eligible for a similar credit on your
state or local income tax return. Twenty-two states, the District of Columbia, New York City and Montgomery
County, Maryland, offer their residents an earned income tax credit.
More information on EITC is available at the IRS's website.
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