The Earned Income Tax Credit, EITC or EIC, is a benefit for working people with low to moderate income. To qualify, you must meet certain requirements and file a tax return, even if you do not owe any tax or are not required to file.

EITC reduces the amount of tax you owe and may give you a refund. For one reason or another, qualified taxpayers end up failing to claim because they either think they are ineligible or simply do not know about the credit. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), eligible taxpayers must have earned income from employment or owning a business or farm and meet basic rules.

Also, some may not think they made enough money to qualify. The IRS reminds those in rural areas that they likely do qualify and should take advantage of the benefits.

Because it’s a refundable tax credit, those who qualify and claim the credit could pay less federal tax, pay no tax or even get a tax refund. However, there are special rules for individuals receiving disability benefits and for members of the military.

Remember that single workers without a qualifying child who earn less than $15,010 may qualify for a smaller amount of the credit. The IRS recommends using the EITC Assistant on their website to determine eligibility and estimate the amount of credit.

If you received a letter from the IRS about EITC, it may be for the following reasons:

  • They are suggesting you claim EITC if you do qualify.
  • Asking you to send information to verify your EITC claim.
  • Or provide important information about your claim.

Be sure to read it carefully and follow directions carefully.