“The IRS estimates only four out of five workers claim EITC they earned.” – NRFC DadTalk Blog
Filing taxes is a notoriously confusing and complicated process. As the April filing deadline approaches and the conversation around taxes gets more intense, we need all the help we can get. This year, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) can potentially provide an added benefit for your family. It is intended to reduce the amount of tax owed by working people with low to moderate income and can often lead to a refund. However, many people don’t know that the EIT
C is available to them, leaving billions of dollars on the table each year. Here are some things for you to know about the EITC for yourself or for fathers and families you may be working with.
To qualify for EITC, you must:
- have earned income and adjusted gross income within certain limits;
- meet certain basic rules related to social security number and filing status; and
- either meet the rules for those without a qualifying child OR have a child that meets all the qualifying child rules for you, and your spouse if you file a joint return.
These rules can be difficult to navigate by yourself, so it’s important to seek out the help you need. The EITC Assistant is a great place to start! You can also find general information on the EITC and tax preparation from the following NRFC resources and past blog posts:
- Economic Stability/Employment: IRS Resources
- Are you eligible for the EITC? Get it, and get it right!
- Helping Ease the Stress of Tax Season
The pages above highlight resources such as the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, which offers free tax help for taxpayers who qualify, and a past webinar co-sponsored by the Administration for Child and Families on taking financial literacy to the next level. Through services such as VITA, you can find out what other special tax credits you may qualify for as well, including the Child Tax Credit and the Credit for the Elderly or Disabled. You can find a VITA site near you here.
While the EITC is one added financial benefit for your family, tax season is a good time to start thinking about other ways to bolster your economic stability as well. Sound financial planning, following safe credit and borrowing practices, and job retention and enhancement are all ways to do so.
Additional money saving tips and other relevant resources for improving economic stability can be found in the DadTalk Blog and federal resources like IRS free tax help and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s consumer tools and education resources.
Programs can also find resources for spreading the word about the EITC through PSAs, fact sheets, and other outreach tools on the IRS EITC Central website.
National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse