DadTalk Blog: Are you eligible for the EITC? Get it, and get it right!

Are you eligible for the EITC? Get it, and get it right!

Workers, including the self-employed, may get a larger tax refund this year because of the EITC or Earned Income Tax Credit.  But to get it, you must file a tax return and claim it.

Friday, January 30, 2015, was EITC Awareness Day, a nationwide effort to increase awareness about the EITC. The EITC is 40 years old this year, and for those 40 years, the EITC has made life easier for millions of workers. Last year, more than 27 million workers received more than $65 billion in EITC refunds.

If you worked last year and your income was less than $52,427, check your eligibility for the EITC. You can potentially receive an up to $6,143 refund when you file a return and have qualifying children.  Workers with no qualifying children could be eligible for a smaller credit, up to $496.  On average, EITC adds $2,400 to refunds.

It is important to have an EITC Awareness Day each year because one-third of the EITC population changes each year. The IRS estimates only four out of five workers claim the EITC they earned.  This leaves billions of dollars on the table each year.  We want to get the word out to those who are eligible to file a tax return even if they don’t owe any tax to claim the EITC.  Workers can use this money for groceries, rent, utilities and other bills.

EITC filing is complex.  It varies by income, family size and your filing status.  To be eligible, you must have earned income or certain disability income.  This means you must have income from working for someone or working for yourself.

Find out if you are eligible using the EITC Assistant; it’s available in both English and Spanish. The Assistant helps you: find your filing status, if you have a qualifying child or children, verify if you are eligible for EITC, and estimate the amount of your credit.  The assistant can be found at

Also, if you make less than $52,427, you qualify for free tax return preparation through Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites.  IRS-certified volunteers prepare your tax return and find out if you qualify for EITC and other refundable credits.  Find a location for free tax return preparation near you at or at call 211 or 311 depending on the community in which you live.

Administration for Children & Families, Region VI

Are you a program working with families? Find additional information on building and supporting the economic stability of the fathers and families you work with in the For Programs, For Fathers section.

For more information on the Administration for Children & Families, Region VI:

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The Administration for Children & Families (ACF) is a division of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and works to promote the well-being of individuals, families and communities... More about this author

Are you eligible for the EITC? Get it, and get it right!

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