What is the EITC and who is eligible?

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is the federal and state income tax credit available to low- and moderate-income working families and individuals. Approximately 29 states, plus the District of Columbia, also offer a similar and supplemental credit for working families and individuals.

The EITC helps to give working families a financial boost. Research indicates that families mostly use the EITC to pay for necessities, repair homes, maintain vehicles that are needed to commute to work, and in some cases, obtain additional education or training to boost their employability and earning power. This extra money helps to improve quality of life and contributes to the economy.

The credit changes every year and is based on earnings, number of qualifying children and marital status. It is important to be sure to file your tax return to take advantage of this credit and get closer to your financial goals.

Learn more about the Earned Income Tax Credit.

couple shaking hands with banker

get free tax help

Approximately 100 million individuals are eligible for free tax help[1].

There are a variety of free resources to help you, including the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program which provides free tax preparation and filing services in more than 30 states plus the District of Columbia. You may be able to schedule a virtual VITA appointment. Virtual VITA uses the same process as traditional VITA but with internet, fax and video. You can also look for other free tax resources in your community.

VITA sites are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls and other convenient locations across the country. You may also find help through the AARP Foundation – AARP Tax Aide, and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE). These AARP programs provides free tax preparation at more than 5,000 locations.

Find a local site providing services in your community:
IRS VITA Locator Tool
United Way 2-1-1

Be sure to do your research to make sure the services you choose are reputable.

If you plan to use a free – or volunteer preparation – program, one valuable resource is the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals. Another valuable resource is the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program that offers free tax help for all taxpayers, particularly those who are 60 years of age and older, specializing in questions about pensions and retirement-related issues unique to seniors. Both VITA and TCE program sites are located in many areas across the United States, provide free tax preparation and filing services, and have professionals that can answer your tax questions.

[1] https://bipartisanpolicy.org/blog/the-irs-and-free-file-three-lessons-about-the-tax-system/