The EITC is the largest, federal refundable tax credit for low to moderate-income workers.Congress enacted it in 1975, in part to offset social security taxes and provide an incentive to work.
Last year, 25 million eligible workers and families received about $61 billion in EITC. The average EITC amount was $2,504. The EITC is as much as $6,557 for a family with three or more children, for tax year 2019. There is a smaller EITC for those with fewer than three children or taxpayers who do not have a qualifying child. EITC can be the largest single payment a taxpayer receives during the year – it canequal a few months’ wages.
EITC and the refundable portion of the Child Tax Credit lift over 10 million people outof poverty annually – over half are children. Four out of five eligible taxpayers receive EITC. One in five eligible taxpayers are not receiving this valuable credit and possibly other credits, as well. Almost a third will become eligible for the first time on their 2019 tax return, due to changes in marital, parental or financial status.
There is also free income tax preparation available through a program of volunteer tax preparers. Click this link for details about VITA.