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Income Tax Credit for Low-Income Individuals and Families

Information for Families

Published: February 5, 2014
Information About:
State/Local Child Support Agencies, Families, Other Public Partners, TANF (IV-A)
Family Services & Referrals, Economic Stability/Job Services
Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Toolkit & Training

The Office of Child Support Enforcement and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs, in partnership with the Internal Revenue Service, encourages eligible taxpayers to file for the Earned Income Tax Credit.

What is it?

  • The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a refundable federal income tax credit for low-income working individuals and families.
  • The EITC has no effect on certain welfare benefits. In most cases, EITC payments will not be used to determine eligibility for Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), food stamps, low-income housing or most TANF payments.

Nationwide in 2013, over 26 million received nearly $62 billion in EITC for the 2012 tax year.

How do I qualify?

To qualify, taxpayers must meet certain requirements and file a tax return, even if they did not earn enough money to be obligated to file a tax return.  See more about whether you qualify for EITC benefits.

The threshold income amounts for 2013 tax returns:

  • $14,340 ($19,680 married filing jointly) if you do not have a qualifying child
  • $37,870 ($43,210 married filing jointly) if you have one qualifying child
  • $43,038 ($48,378 married filing jointly) if you have two qualifying children
  • $46,227 ($51,567 married filing jointly) if you have three or more qualifying children

The maximum EITC for the 2013 tax year:

  • $487 with no qualifying children
  • $3,250 with one qualifying child
  • $5,372 with two qualifying children
  • $6,044 with three or more qualifying children

Where can I get more information?

If your office is interested in receiving EITC publications or partnering with IRS, please contact partner@irs.gov. Any external questions about partnering will be directed to the proper person in the appropriate territory and the response will be sent to you.

For more information, including outreach materials and state statistics visit EITC Central.

Resources that you may find particularly helpful include:

There are volunteer income tax assistance sites that help low- to moderate-income (generally, $50,000 and below) people who cannot prepare their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers, sponsored by various organizations, receive training to help prepare basic tax returns in communities across the country. These sites are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls, and other convenient locations. Most locations also offer free electronic filing.