Tax Credits for Working People (EITC)

Everyone wants to keep more of their hard-earned money at tax time. If you earn a low to moderate income you may be able to get the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and pay less in taxes.

One in five people who could claim the credit don’t because they do not know about it or because they don’t file their taxes.

Top ten questions about the EITC

1. What is the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC):

The Earned Income Tax Credit or Earned Income Credit (EIC) is a credit that can help individuals and families with low to moderate incomes pay less in taxes.

2. My spouse and I earned $40,000 in 2013. Can we get the EITC?

People with low to moderate incomes may be able to receive the credit. You could qualify if you worked in 2013 and your household earned income and adjusted gross income (AGI) was less than the following amount:

Number of Qualifying Children


Married Filing Jointly

3 or more












3. How much money could I receive with the EITC?

The amount of the credit depends on your income and the number of qualifying children you have. For people with wages, salaries, tips, self-employment income and other earnings, the EITC gives up to:

  • $6,044 to households with three or more children
  • $5,372 to households with two or more children
  • $3,250 to households with one child
  • $487 to households with no children (only if you were between ages 25 and 64 in 2013)

4. How old do my children need to be to qualify as dependents for the EITC?

Your children must have lived with you for more than half of the year to be included as dependents for the EITC. In 2013, your children must be:

  • Under age 19, or
  • Under age 24 if they are a full-time student, or
  • Any age if they’re totally disabled

5. What do I need to do to get the Earned Income Tax Credit?

You need to file a tax return (including schedule EIC) to get this credit. Even if you don’t owe income tax and aren’t required to file, it’s best if you file. In many cases, you will get money back! File your taxes online for federal and state  taxes online for free now or find help to file your taxes in person for free.

6. Can I still get Medicaid and food stamps (SNAP) if I get the EITC?

Yes. The credit won’t count as income for programs like Medicaid, food stamps (SNAP), SSI, cash assistance or public housing. You can save the refund you receive for up to a year and it won’t be considered as income/assets by federal assistance programs.

7. Does my state offer an Earned Income Tax Credit in addition to the federal EITC?

Twenty-two states, New York City, the District of Columbia and several local governments offer a credit similar to the EITC. Find out if your state offers the EITC.

8. Do I need a Social Security number to get the EITC?

Yes. You, your spouse and all of your dependents must have valid Social Security numbers that authorize you to work in the U.S. in order to get the EITC.

9. Can I file for the EITC on my past tax returns?

Yes. You can apply for the credit for the prior three years (2012, 2011 and 2010). That could mean a lot of extra money for your family. Get help filing your taxes for free in person.

10. Can I still apply for the Making Work Pay Credit or the Advanced Earned Income Tax Credit?

No. The Making Work Pay Credit and the Advanced Earned Income Tax Credit are not available for tax year 2013.

Find out if you qualify for the EITC.

Remember, the deadline to file your federal and state  taxes is Tuesday, April 15, 2014.