The Internal Revenue Service declared Friday Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day, an effort to alert millions of low- and moderate-income workers who may be missing out on a significant tax credit that can be as much as $6,000.
Millions of workers who earned $52,427 or less last year may qualify for EITC for the first time in 2015, making awareness of the credit critical. About a third of the people eligible for EITC fluctuate each year based on changes to their marital, parental and financial status. All across the United States, local officials and community organizations are holding events highlighting this key benefit.
“About four out of five eligible workers and families get the credit they earned. That leaves millions missing EITC every year,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “It’s an important credit and one of the government’s best tools to fight poverty.”
Last year, almost 28 million eligible workers and families received $66 billion total in EITC, with an average EITC amount of $2,400.
The IRS website is a valuable first stop to help taxpayers get it right this filing season, from information on claiming the EITC, to learning about the Affordable Care Act (known as the health care law), to finding free tax help. The IRS encourages everyone to use the EITC Assistant on IRS.gov/eitc, an interactive tool to find out if they are eligible for the credit. The IRS website also provides helpful information on the health care law and how it may affect tax returns at IRS.gov/aca. There is also an interactive tool that helps individuals determine if they are eligible for the premium tax credit. And qualified taxpayers may also find a free tax return preparation site on IRS.gov/vita.
The amount of EITC varies depending on income, family size and filing status. Those who work for someone else or those who run a business or farm and who earned $52,427 or less during 2014 could receive larger refunds if they qualify for the EITC. This could mean up to $496 in EITC for people without children, and a maximum credit of up to $6,143 for those with three or more qualifying children.
The EITC is refundable. This means those eligible may get a refund from the IRS even if they owe no tax or had no taxes withheld from their paycheck.
Workers potentially eligible to claim the credit should visit IRS.gov/eitc to learn if they qualify, how to claim the credit and more. The EITC Assistant will also determine their filing status, if they have a qualifying child or children and estimate the amount of the EITC they could get. If an individual doesn’t qualify for EITC, the Assistant explains why and a summary of the results can be printed.