How to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit

Deductions and Credits

As today is National Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Day, we’re offering some simple tips and useful resources to help taxpayers claim this valuable tax credit. The EITC is a refundable federal tax credit for low to moderate income working individuals and families.  If you qualify, the credit can increase your federal tax refund by up to $5,666, depending on your individual tax situation. But you have to file a tax return to claim the EITC.

To be eligible for the EITC, taxpayers need to meet the follow criteria:

  • Must have valid Social Security Numbers;
  • Must be U.S. citizen or resident alien for the entire year;
  • Cannot use the married filing separately filing status;
  • You and your spouse (if married) cannot be claimed as a qualifying child by someone else.
  • Cannot claim the foreign earned income exclusion (which relates to wages earned while living abroad)
  • You and your spouse (if married) are between the ages of 25 and 64.
  • An easy way to see if you qualify to claim the EITC is to use our Earned Income Tax online calculator.

If you qualify for the EITC, you need to file a tax return to claim your credit. Intuit is working with nonprofit groups and public and private sector partners to help low and middle-income taxpayers get access to free online tax preparation so they claim this and other tax credits and deductions.

Through the IRS Free File program, Intuit provides free online tax preparation and electronic filing for individuals who qualify for the EITC. The program is also available to active duty military with an adjusted gross income of $58,000 or less, or who have an adjusted gross income of $31,000 or less.  Since 1998, Intuit has donated more than 22 million returns to these low- and moderate- income taxpayers.

Additionally, at tax assistance events around the country, eligible tax filers can accurately and easily prepare their returns for free with TurboTax, ensuring they claim all the deductions and credits they deserve. These include:

IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Programs – IRS VITA sites in 12 communities across the country will offer filers the option of using TurboTax to prepare their returns on their own with the assistance of an onsite coach.

New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, Office of Financial Empowerment – Taxpayers can prepare and file their federal, state and city returns online with TurboTax at 20 free tax assistance sites throughout New York City. The program is part of a campaign designed to increase awareness about EITC.

Community events – Intuit is participating in a series of more than 30 tax assistance events across the country through April. Taxpayers can prepare and file their taxes through the IRS Free Program and with 21 state Free File programs.

Last year, California taxpayers alone left more than $1 billion in EITC funds unclaimed. There’s simply no reason to leave money you’re owed on the table. Find out if you qualify and file your return to claim your EITC.