August 23rd, 2019

Understanding Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

The Earned Income Tax Credit, EITC or EIC, is a benefit for working people with low to moderate income. To qualify, you must meet certain requirements and file a tax return, even if you do not owe any tax or are not required to file. EITC reduces the amount of tax you owe and may give you a refund.

To qualify for EITC you must have earned income from working for someone or from running or owning a business or farm and meet basic rules. And, you must either meet additional rules for workers without a qualifying child or have a child that meets all the qualifying child rules for you.

If you have someone prepare your tax return, bring the necessary documents to your preparer to make sure your tax return is prepared correctly. Those documents are: Social Security Card for all persons listed on the return; birth dates for all persons on the return; all income statements including W-2’s, unemployment statements, and any business income you have; dependent child care information; & a record of expenses including tuition, interest and property taxes.

Single and married people who worked full or part-time at some point during 2016 can qualify for the EITC. Single people without children can make up to $14,880; and married people with eligible children can make up to $50,000 and still be eligible for a substantial credit.

Claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit does not affect eligibility for other benefits like SNAP (food stamps), SSI, Medicaid, cash assistance, or public housing. A saved tax refund does not count against a federally-funded benefit program resource/asset limit for 12 months after the refund is received.

More information is available about this credit and others at irs.gov/earned-income-tax-credit; or you can call the Tax Line at Capstone Community Action – 802-477-5148.
As the Tax Program Coordinator here at Capstone Community Action, I receive notices all year about tax issues that will affect our community. I hope these articles can help us all to keep up with some of the changes and therefore, have a better tax experience. If you need more information about these tax subjects, or others, let me know at lsudhoff@capstonevt.org. – Laura Sudhoff

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