For many Americans struggling to make ends meet, tax time can be especially stressful. Consumer Reports has some important advice about a tax credit that often goes unclaimed but could help those who need it most. It’s called the Earned Income Tax Credit.
Millions of Americans qualify for this tax credit on their yearly tax return. If you’re a low- or moderate-income worker, it can give you back some or all of the money you’ve paid in taxes. You might even get back more.
The amount of Earned Income Tax Credit you can collect depends on your income, marital status, whether you have children, and how many children. A single person without any children making almost $15,000 dollars per year can get more than $500. A married couple with three children making almost $50,000 a year could get back more than $6,000.
Too few people know about this tax credit. One in five households in the U.S. eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit does not claim it. You can find out whether you qualify for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit, along with other available credits and deductions, on the IRS’s website.
To file for the Earned Income Tax Credit, you’ll need a Social Security number for you and all of your children.
Any tax-prep website or service can help you file for this credit as part of your 2015 taxes. But if you’d like free in-person help, you can find an IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance location by going to: IRS.treasury.GOV/freetaxprep.
Twenty-six states plus the District of Columbia have their own EITCs to supplement the federal credit. Find out if your state offers this tax credit.
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