Earned Income Credit

Find out if you qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit

If you earned $54,884 or less last year, you could receive a larger refund if you qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). If you have three or more qualifying children, you could get a maximum credit of up to $6,431. Even if you don’t have children, it could mean up to $519 added to your tax refund.

Unlike most deductions and credits, the EITC is refundable. In other words, if you’re eligible, you may get a refund from the IRS even if you don’t owe tax. Last year, more than 25 million eligible workers and families nationwide received about $63 billion in EITC, with an average of more than $2,470.

To find out if you’re eligible, use the EITC Assistant, an online tool available on IRS.gov. You don’t need to guess about your eligibility — use the EITC Assistant to find out for sure. And, when checking your eligibility for EITC, don’t overlook other tax credits for which you may qualify.

Some refunds held until mid-February

By law, if you claim either the EITC or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC), the IRS can’t issue your refund before mid-February. The IRS must hold the entire refund — even the portion not associated with the EITC or ACTC.

The IRS expects the earliest EITC/ACTC related refunds to be available in bank accounts or debit cards starting February 27, 2018, if you chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with your tax return.

You can track the status of your refund with the “Where’s My Refund?” tool available on IRS.gov or the IRS2Go mobile app.

Free tax preparation

Free tax preparation help will be available this filing season near you. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals. Free tax preparation sites are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls and other convenient locations across the country.

Please note: The information covered on our website is not intended as tax advice nor should it be construed as tax advice. Monmouth College volunteers are not professional tax advisers and cannot give tax advice. For tax advice assistance, contact a professional tax adviser.