The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a work credit that may give you money back at tax time or lower the federal taxes you owe. The main requirement is that you must earn money from a job.
If you fall within the guidelines for the credit, be sure to claim it on your return when you do your taxes.
If you didn’t claim the earned income credit when you filed your taxes in the last three years but think you qualified for it, the IRS encourages you to file an amended tax return so you can get that money back.
For the 2022 tax year (the tax return you'll file in 2023), the earned income credit ranges from $560 to $6,935 depending on your filing status and how many children you have.
Who is eligible for the earned income credit?
- You must have at least $1 of earned income (pensions and unemployment do not count).
- Your investment income must have been $10,300 or less in 2022.
- You can qualify for the EITC if you’re separated but still married. To do so, you cannot file a joint tax return and your child must live with you for more than half the year. You also must not have lived with your spouse during the last six months or you must have a separation agreement or decree.
- If you are claiming the EITC without any qualifying children, you must be at least 25 years old but not older than 65. If you are claiming jointly without a child, only one spouse needs to meet the age requirement.
- There are special EIC rules for members of the military and the clergy, as well as for people who have disability income or who have children with disabilities.
Income limits for the 2022 earned income tax credit (for taxes due in April 2023) can be found here.
(Note: you can also find the income limits for tax year 2019 through 2023 on the same page)
- Both your earned income and your adjusted gross income each have to be below the levels in the table.
- Your earned income usually includes job wages, salary, tips and other taxable pay you get from your employer.
- Your adjusted gross income is your earned income minus certain deductions.
- After you file your return, the best way to track your refund is Where's My Refund? or the IRS2Go mobile app.
- To get your refund faster, file your taxes online and have your refund sent to you through direct deposit.