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Earned Income Tax Credit: It's Your Money - Go Claim It

Earned Income Tax Credit: It's Your Money - Go Claim It

The Earned Income Tax Credit or the EITC is a tax credit for low income working individuals and families.

For 2008 the amount of income you can earn to claim the credit has increased as found on the IRS website:

  • More than 1 child with income less than $38,646 and $41,646 if married filing jointly,
  • 1 child with income less than $33,995 or $36,995 if married filing jointly,
  • No child with income less than $12,880 or $15,880.

To be eligible for the EITC you must file a tax return and meet certain requirments:

  • You must have a valid Social Security Number,
  • have earned income from employment or self-employment,
  • filing status cannot be married, filing separately,
  • must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien all of 2008,
  • or a nonresident alien married to a U.S. citizen or resident alien and filing a joint return.

If you do not have a qualifying child, you must:

  • be age 25 but under 65 at the end of the year,
  • live in the United States for more than half the year,
  • and not qualify as a dependent of another person.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) offers free tax help to low-to-moderate-income (generally, $42,000 and below) people who cannot prepare their own tax returns. Certified volunteers sponsored by various organizations receive training to help prepare basic tax returns in communities across the country. VITA sites are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls, and other convenient locations. Most locations also offer free electronic filing.

AARP is participating in the Tax Counseling for the Elderly Program which provides free tax help to people 60 and older that are of low-to-middle income. The program provides free tax counseling and basic income tax return preparation.

To locate the nearest VITA or AARP site, call 1-800-829-1040.

Visit the IRS website to determine if you qualify for the EITC.

It’s your money – go claim it!

Published Feb 13, 2009.