Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The EITC Program?

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a special tax benefit for people who worked at any time during the year. If you qualify, you may owe less in taxes, or owe no taxes at all, and receive a cash refund.

How can I qualify to receive the EITC?

The EITC has several qualifying factors and income guidelines.
Includes:

  • Wages, salaries, tips

  • Union strike benefits

  • Employer paid disability benefits

  • Net earnings from self-employment

  • If investment income is more that $3,300 or less for the year, the EITC may not be claimed. Investment income includes taxable interest, tax-exempt interest, and capital gain distributions.

Does not include:

  • Interest and dividends

  • Social security and railroad retirement benefits

  • Welfare benefits

  • Workfare payments

  • Pensions or annuities

  • Veterans’ benefits

  • Workers’ compensation benefits

  • Alimony and child support

  • Non-taxable foster care payments

  • Unemployment compensation (insurance)

Does the EITC affect other income I am receiving such as Medicaid, food stamps, SSI, or public housing?

The EITC is not considered income when applying/qualifying for food stamps, SSI, Medicaid, federal housing, Head Start, or foster care or adoption assistance.

How do I get the EITC?

Workers who raised a qualifying child in their home in the current tax year must file either Form 1040 or 1040A and must fill out and attach Schedule EIC. Workers cannot get the EIC if they file form 1040EZ or do not attach a Schedule EIC.

Workers who did not raise a qualifying child in their home in the current tax year can file any tax form – including the 1040EZ. These workers write “EIC” on the earned income credit line on the tax form.

A correct name and Social Security number must be provided for every person listed on the tax return and Schedule EIC. If this information is incorrect or missing the IRS may delay the refund.

Workers can also get FREE help filing their tax forms, available at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Sites (VITA).

How do I apply for the EITC?

Workers raising a qualifying child in their home in the current tax year must file either IRS Form 1040 or 1040A and must also fill out and attach Schedule EIC.

Workers who are not raising a qualifying child in their home in the current tax year can file any tax form and write “EIC” on the earned income credit line on the tax form.

A correct name and Social Security number must be provided for every person listed on the tax return and Schedule EIC. If this information is incorrect or missing the IRS may delay the refund.

If I receive an EITC refund, will my public benefits be lowered, or taken away from me?

Generally, the answer is no.

Which programs do not count EITC refunds as income when determining eligibility?

  • Medicaid

  • SSI

  • Food stamps

  • Federally assisted housing

  • TANF

  • Veteran’s benefits

  • Head Start

  • LIHEAP

  • General Assistance

Which programs do not count EITC refunds as a resource and for what period of time?

  • Medicaid: excluded for the month received and the next month

  • SSI: excluded for 9 months after the month of receipt

  • Food stamps: excluded for 12 months after the month of receipt

  • Federally assisted housing: no resource test

  • TANF: excludes EITC completely

  • Head Start: excluded for month received and next month

  • LIHEAP: there is no resource determination

Do I have to pay taxes on my EITC refund?

No.

EITC is a resource when determining Veteran’s benefits.