This article was last edited on Feb. 21, 2018. For updated information on the Earned Income Tax Credit, visit Can You Claim the Earned Income Tax Credit?
If you earned $53,930 or less last year, you could receive a larger refund if you qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). If you have three or more qualifying children, you could get a maximum credit of up to $6,318.
Even if you don’t have children, it could mean up to $510 added to your tax refund.
EITC is refundable
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. This year, more than 25 million eligible workers and families nationwide received about $63 billion in EITC, with an average of more than $2,470.
Here are some other facts you may not know about the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
Check your eligibility
To find out if you’re eligible, use the EITC Assistant, an online tool 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.
Your refund may be delayed
By law, if you claim either the EITC or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC), the IRS can’t issue your refund before mid-February. The IRS must hold the entire refund—even the portion not associated with the EITC or ACTC.
The IRS expects the earliest EITC/ACTC-related refunds to be available in bank accounts or debit cards starting February 27, 2018, if you chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with your tax return.
Read more about why your refund might be delayed here.
Track the status of your refund