If you earned $53,505 or less last year, you could receive a larger refund if you qualify for the EITC. If you have three or more qualifying children, you could get a maximum credit of up to $6,269. Even if you don’t have children, it could mean up to $506 added to your tax refund.
Unlike most deductions and credits, the EITC is refundable. In other words, if you’re eligible, you may get a refund from the IRS even if you don’t owe tax. Last year, more than 27.5 million eligible workers and families received almost $66.7 billion in EITC; with an average EITC amount of more than $2,400.
IRS-certified volunteers at our VITA sites (contact River Cities United Way for details) can help you find out if you quality for EITC and help you prepare your taxes for free. There is also an online tool, the EITC Assistant, available on IRS.gov. You don’t need to guess about your eligibility – use the EITC Assistant to find out for sure. And, when checking your eligibility for EITC, don’t overlook other tax credits for which you may qualify.
Some refunds held until mid-February
A new law approved by Congress requires the IRS to hold refunds claiming the EITC and the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) until February 15. By law, the IRS must hold the entire refund – even the portion not associated with EITC or ACTC. This change helps ensure taxpayers receive the refund they are owed by giving the agency more time to help detect and prevent fraud.
The IRS will begin releasing these refunds on February 15, but you shouldn’t expect to see them deposited into your bank accounts until the week of February 27 – assuming there are no processing issues with the tax return.