With today marking national EITC Awareness Day, the Internal Revenue Service wants to remind workers about the Earned Income Tax Credit and to correctly claim this important credit if they qualify.
The IRS and community partners nationwide holds EITC Awareness Day each year to alert the millions of workers who may be missing out on this valuable tax credit. Partners will be sharing information and holding events across the country today and in the days ahead.
“The Earned Income Tax Credit makes a big difference for working families across the country,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “We encourage people to carefully review the EITC instructions to see if they qualify for this important credit when they prepare their taxes. The IRS also appreciates the continued effort of our partners across the nation who share information and raise awareness about EITC for people who may qualify.”
Eligible families with three or more qualifying children could get a maximum credit of up to $6,431. EITC for people without children could mean up to $519 added to their tax refund.
The IRS recommends that all workers who earned around $54,000 or less learn about EITC eligibility and use the EITC Assistant to find out if they qualify. The tool will help them determine their filing status, if they have a qualifying child or children, if they qualify to receive the EITC and estimate the amount of the credit they could get. If an individual doesn’t qualify for EITC, the Assistant explains why. A summary of the results can be printed and kept with the worker’s tax papers.
In addition to the EITC, if you have children or other dependents, you may be eligible to claim the Child Tax Credit, the Additional Child Tax Credit, or the Credit for Other Dependents. See Publication 972, Child Tax Credit, and Publication 5307 for information to help individual taxpayers understand the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Full details are available on the EITC page on IRS.gov. In addition, here are key things for taxpayers to keep in mind.
Get free help
Anyone who qualifies for the EITC also qualifies for free tax help from a trained community volunteer. Through VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) and TCE (Tax Counselling for the Elderly), volunteers prepare basic tax returns at more than 12,000 tax help sites nationwide.
Some sites offer help on a first-come-first-served basis, while others require an appointment. Most are open from early February to mid-April. To find the nearest location, visit the Free Tax Return Preparation site on IRS.gov, or call 800-906-9887.
Other free options
Another way to claim the EITC is to file a return electronically using IRS Free File. Just use a smartphone or computer to visit IRS.gov and click the Free File link. Through the Free File system, anyone who qualifies for the EITC also qualifies to use brand-name software to prepare and electronically file their return for free.
Choose direct deposit
Anyone with a savings, checking or brokerage account can choose to have their refund electronically deposited in that account. Direct deposit is available, regardless of whether a return is filed electronically or on paper.
Four out of five people who get refunds now choose the speed and convenience of direct deposit. People who choose direct deposit typically get their refunds sooner: Plus, they never need to worry about a lost, stolen or undelivered refund check. Anyone without a bank account may want to consider opening one, so they can quickly and easily receive tax refunds and other payments.
Check “Where’s My Refund” for refund information
“Where’s My Refund?”
IRS.gov and the IRS2Go mobile app remains the best way to check the status of a refund. “Where’s My Refund?” will be updated with projected deposit dates for most early EITC and ACTC refund filers by February 23, so those filers will not see a refund date on “Where’s My Refund?”
Through their software packages until then.
The IRS expects the earliest EITC/ACTC related refunds to be available in taxpayer bank accounts or on debit cards starting on Feb. 27, 2019, if these taxpayers chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with their tax return.
Source: IRS.gov IR-2019-06