What Is the EITC or Earned Income Tax Credit

What Is the EITC or Earned Income Tax Credit In this article, we will discuss EITC or earned income tax credit. EITC is nothing but a refundable tax credit that assists specific taxpayers of the United States with low earnings by decreasing the amount of tax owed on a dollar-for-dollar basis. Single mothers are also eligible to take benefit of this program.

We all know that the life of a single mother is tough. Single mothers have to go through a lot in life. They have to carry all the responsibilities on their shoulders, such as household chores, work, taking care of the child, and much more. They don’t get any assistance from anyone. So, the government understands the pain of single mothers and provides assistance to single mothers through various grants. Earned income tax credit is among such programs that helps single mothers claim tax benefits.

Taxpayers will be eligible for refunds if their tax credit exceeds their liability of income tax for that particular year. Legislation in 2020 recognized that several taxpayers’ incomes that year were lower than income in 2019 because of the COVID-19 outbreak. This regulation lets taxpayers base the Earned income tax credit claimed on their income tax returns on their earnings. For income tax returns, the rule liberalizes a few of the EITC regulations and makes an increased EITC available to childless taxpayers. You can check the What grants are available for grants for single mothers for more information.

Key takeaways

  • The earned income tax credit or EIC is available to taxpayers with moderate or low earnings, whether or not they become eligible dependents.
  • The EITC, or earned income tax credit, is a refundable tax credit used to assist in offsetting the effect of SS or Social Security taxes or to supplement the wages of a low-income workforce.
  • The ARPA, or the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, revised a number of EITC regulations for the financial year.
  • To become eligible for the EITC, a taxpayer should have accrued earnings during that financial year. Also, investment income cannot surpass a particular level.

Understanding the Earned Income Tax Credit or EITC

The EITC, or earned income tax credit, is also named the EIC or earned income credit. It was introduced as a work bonus plan to assist the impact of social security taxes or supplement the wages of low-income workers. It is still seen as an anti-poverty tax benefit.

The Earned income credit is available to taxpayers with moderate or low earnings. It does not matter if they have dependents or not. To claim the credit, single mothers or a taxpayer, a spouse filing jointly, or an individual with no qualifying dependents should be at least 19 years and must stay in the United States for more than half of the financial year.

The earnings cap, credit percentage, and credit amount differ as per the number of dependents and filing status of the taxpayer. Eligible dependents may include dependent kids who are 19 years old, dependents with a disability, or students under 24 years. These parameters also consider the income phaseout range over the credit diminishes to zero. Zero credit is permitted above the ceiling for the phaseout range.

To become eligible for the EITC grant, single mothers should have earnings but cannot have investment income in excess of a particular level. The maximum investment level of income was $10300 in 2022, and now it is $11,000. Relationship, age, and residency needs also apply with respect to eligible dependents. The credit decreases the amount of tax owed on a dollar-to-dollar basis. If the amount of EIC is bigger than the amount of tax owned by an individual, then the person can become eligible for a refund.

The earned income credit is among the necessary tax credits available to taxpayers. They should be a resident alien of the United States or citizen of the United States for the complete year and have a valid SSN or social security number by the income tax return due date. The amount of credit that may be claimed on an income tax return differs on the annual earned income for that particular year, the number of eligible dependents, and filing status too.

Example of the EITC

A refundable tax credit decreases the value of the liability of the taxpayer, dollar for dollar, and it results in a refund if the liability is decreased below zero. For instance, a person who has a tax bill of $2900 dollars and will claim a $529 credit might owe $2371.

The lower amount is the total that the individual has to pay to the IRS for that particular year. If a person has a total liability of tax $1000 and $1500 credit, then the taxpayer must be entitled to a refund of 500 dollars.

How does the earned income tax credit or EIC work?

The EIC is a refundable tax credit. In scenarios where the credit amount is more than the owed taxes, it might result in a refund of the overage. It means that taxpayers who become eligible for the credit will decrease their tax bill by the corresponding amount of credit.

You don’t have to have a kid to claim the credit. The more kids you have, the bigger the credit amount will be. To claim the EIC, you have to meet income criteria and cannot make over a particular amount of investment on income. If you claim the EIC or earned income tax credit on your income tax return, the IRS cannot issue a refund until February, as per the rules.

Qualifying for the EITC

To become eligible for the earned income credit, an adjusted gross income and earned income of an individual should be below particular income limits. The limits on credit amount, investment income, and income level for a married or a single taxpayer differ depending on the number of eligible dependents in the household.

Who is eligible for the EIC or earned income credit?

To become eligible for the Earned income tax income, you should have made at least one dollar of earned income. There are also other criteria to become eligible for the EIC that, includes:

  • You should not file the 2555 form, form 2555-EZ, FEIE (Foreign earned income exclusion), or foreign earned income
  • You should have at least one dollar earned income where unemployment and pensions don’t count at all.
  • Your investment income should be 11000 dollars, and it should not exceed more than 11000
  • You become eligible for the EITC if you are separated but married. You cannot file a joint income tax return, and your kid should stay with you for more than six months. You also should not have stayed with your partner during the last six months or you should have a decree or separation agreement too.
  • If you are claiming the EIC without any qualifying kid, you should be at least 25 years but not more than 65 years old. If you are claiming jointly without a kid, only one spouse should meet the requirement of age.
  • There are particular earned income credit laws for members of the clergy and military and for individuals who have kids with disabilities or disability income.

Who counts as a qualifying kid for the earned income credit?

If you claim one or more kids as part of your earned income tax credit, you should pass particular tests to become eligible for the program:

  • The kid should be under 19 years at the end of the financial year and younger than your spouse or you if you are filing income tax jointly, or the kid must be under 24 years of age if they are a full-time student. There is no age bar for kids who are totally or permanently disabled.
  • The kid can be your adopted kid, biological child, grandkid, stepchild, or even foster kid. The kid also can be your half-sibling, sibling, step-sibling, or any of their kids.
  • The kid should have stayed with you or your partner in the United States for at least six months in that financial year.

For every kid you have to claim with the EIC, you also require the following:

  • Birthdate
  • An SSN or Social Security Number to use the name of the child and SSN as available on the social security card

How to claim the EITC without a kid?

You can get EIC if you don’t become eligible for a kid but meet the income needs for your filing status. To become eligible, you should meet three criteria that are:

  • You should be 25 years old, not older than 65. If married and filing income tax jointly, then at least one partner should meet the age criteria
  • No one will claim you as a qualifying or dependent kid on their income tax return.
  • You should have stayed in the United States for more than six months.

Consequences of an EIC-related error

Not only does a mistake on your income tax form delay the earned income credit part of your refund at times for months, but it also means the IRS or internal revenue service will deny the complete earned income credit.

If the Internal revenue service denies your complete EITC claim:

  • You should file the 8862 form.”Information to claim particular credits after dis allowance before you will claim the EIC again
  • You should pay back any earned income credit amount you have been paid in mistake, plus interest.
  • You may be banned from claiming the EIC for the next decade if the IRS finds you filed your income tax return fraudulently
  • You may be banned from claiming EIC for the coming two years if the internal revenue service finds you filed your income tax return with intentional or reckless disregard of the regulations


Being a single mother, it is difficult to live life. The government has come up with various grants so that single mothers can live their life peacefully. There are also various non-profit organizations, charity organizations, churches, communities, and sponsors who help single mothers in the best possible way. EITC is one such program that helps single mothers with low-income, and they can benefit from this program if single mothers fulfill the above-discussed criteria. So, if you are a single mother who is looking for an earned income tax credit grant, then this blog is for them. You can also share this blog with needy individuals who are looking for tax credit assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions

 What Is the Difference Between a Tax Credit and a Tax Deduction?

A tax credit decreases the amount of tax you owe on a dollar-to-dollar basis. For instance, a 1000-dollar tax credit means that you have 1000 dollars less in taxes. A tax deduction reduces your taxable income. If your taxable income is less than 1000 dollars, then you are in the 24 percent tax bracket, where you save 240 dollars in taxes.

How Much Income Can You Earn in Investments and Still Take the EITC?

For the income tax year 2022, the maximum income investment you may earn from investments was 10,300 dollars. For 2023, it is 11000 dollars.

What qualifies as earned income?

Earned income is all the taxable wages and income you get from working for someone, from a business, yourself, or from a farm you own.

How much do single moms get back in taxes?

If you are a single parent, for tax purposes, you are the head of the household. It means you can claim 19000 dollars versus a 12950 standard deduction for the single parent without dependents.

Can a single mother with no job file taxes?

If you don’t have income but have a dependent or child, you may still file your income taxes. It will help you get a refund if the tax credit you are eligible for is more compared to your income.

How much is child tax for a single mom?

A single mother making less than 2 lakh dollars may claim a 2000 dollar child tax credit for each kid or head of household filer.

How much is EIC this year?

The EIC ranges from 560 to 7000 dollars based on how many kids you have and your filing status.

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