Tax tip: Are you eligible for Earned Income Tax Credit?

Tax tip: Are you eligible for Earned Income Tax Credit?

Workers may get a larger tax refund this year because of the EITC, or Earned Income Tax Credit. But to get it, you must file a tax return and claim it.

If you worked last year and had income of less than $52,427, check out your eligibility for EITC. EITC can mean up to a $6,143 refund when you file a return if you have qualifying children. Workers without a qualifying child could be eligible for a smaller credit up to $496. On average, EITC adds $2,400 to refunds.

The Internal Revenue Service estimates that four out of five workers claim the EITC they earned. That leaves billions of dollars on the table each year. Those who are eligible to file a tax return should claim the EITC, even if they don’t owe any tax. It’s money workers can use for groceries, rent, utilities and other bills.

EITC is complex. It varies by income, family size and filing status. To be eligible, you must have earned income or certain disability income. This means you must have income from working for someone or working for yourself.

Volunteers — trained by the IRS — ask you the needed questions to find out if you qualify for the EITC and other refundable tax credits. Volunteers at VITA, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites, also prepare and electronically file your tax return at no cost to you.

Visit the free tax preparation site at:

Building 1295 (Poe Conference Center), open 8 a.m.-4 p.m. through April 17. 

Bring the following:

• A valid driver’s license or other photo ID card

• Social security number or the ITIN (individual taxpayer identifying number) for all persons listed on return

• Birth date for all persons listed on return

• All income statements: forms W-2 and 1099, Social Security, unemployment, and other statements, such as pensions, stocks, interest and any documents showing taxes withheld

• All records of expenses, such as tuition, mortgage interest or real estate taxes

• Copies of last year’s state and federal tax returns, if you have them

• Bank routing numbers and account numbers to direct-deposit any refund

• Dependent child care information: name and address of the caretaker and the caretaker’s SSN or other tax identification number.

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