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Earned Income Tax Credit for 2012; Do I Qualify?

FS-2013-1, January 2013

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a financial boost for people working hard to make ends meet. Millions of workers may qualify for the first time this year due to changes in their marital, parental or financial status.

The IRS urges workers, self-employed people and farmers earning $50,270 or less in 2012 to see if they qualify by using the EITC Assistant on IRS.gov. To get the credit taxpayers need to file a return and specifically claim the EITC, even if they aren’t required to file.

The EITC is a refundable tax credit. This means taxpayers may get money back, even if they have no tax withheld. Nationwide last year, over 27 million eligible individuals and families received nearly $62 billion in EITC.

Many special rules apply to the EITC, so taxpayers should review the rules carefully, even when paying someone else to prepare their returns. Most people who qualify for the EITC also qualify for free tax preparation through the IRS Free File program, or at a local tax help site staffed by trained community volunteers.

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