IRS, partners highlight EITC Awareness Day with tax resources that benefit millions of low- and moderate-income workers
IR-2024-22, Jan. 26, 2024, WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service and partners around the nation today launched the annual Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day outreach campaign to help millions of low-to-moderate income working Americans that are eligible to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
For the past 18 years, the IRS has invited community organizations, elected officials, state and local governments, schools, employers and other interested parties to join this national grassroots effort.
According to the most recent figures, approximately 23 million workers and families received about $57 billion in EITC for tax year 2022, and the average amount of EITC received was about $2,541. The IRS estimates that about one in five of EITC eligible taxpayers don’t claim this valuable credit, a statistic that stresses the importance of the annual EITC Awareness Day outreach campaign.
“The IRS and our partners across the nation urge people to look into this frequently overlooked tax credit that can help millions of taxpayers,” said IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel. “On EITC Awareness Day and throughout the filing season, the IRS and our partners work hard to reach eligible taxpayers and provide useful information and resources to help people determine their eligibility and how to properly claim this valuable credit. Even people who don’t normally file might still be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, which can be thousands of dollars.”
Werfel attended a special EITC Awareness Day event Friday in Baltimore sponsored by the CASH (Creating Assets, Savings and Hope) Campaign of Maryland. IRS leaders across the nation are also participating in local events this month highlighting the importance of EITC, which helps millions of taxpayers each year.
The IRS administers the EITC, which Congress originally approved in 1975. It was developed in part to offset the burden of Social Security taxes and provide an incentive to work.
Who is eligible to claim the EITC?
Workers must meet certain requirements and file a tax return, even if they are not required to file due to earned income levels. The IRS estimates that a third of those who qualify for EITC became eligible for the first time this year due to changes in their marital, parental or financial status.
Eligible workers must have valid Social Security numbers for themselves, their spouse if filing a joint return, and for each qualifying child claimed for the EITC. There are special rules for those in the military or those out of the country.
Those with qualifying children can receive a maximum of $7,430 when claiming the EITC, up from $6,935 in 2022.
Eligible workers between the ages of 25 and 64 with no dependents can also receive up to $600 by claiming the EITC. Married but separated spouses who do not file a joint return may qualify to claim EITC if they meet certain requirements.
EITC is for workers whose income does not exceed the following limits in 2023:
- $56,838 ($63,398 married filing jointly) with three or more qualifying children who have valid Social Security numbers (SSNs).
- $52,918 ($59,478 married filing jointly) with two qualifying children who have valid SSNs.
- $46,560 ($53,120 married filing jointly) with one qualifying child who has a valid SSN.
- $17,640 ($24,210 married filing jointly) with no qualifying children with valid SSNs.
- Investment income must be $11,000 or less.
Filing options to choose from when claiming the EITC
To get the EITC, workers must file a tax return and claim the credit. The IRS also reminds taxpayers that the quickest way to get a tax refund is by filing an accurate tax return electronically and choosing direct deposit for their refund.
Here are some options on how to claim the EITC:
- Free File on IRS.gov. Qualified taxpayers can prepare and file federal income tax returns online free of charge using guided tax preparation software. Free File also provides Free File Fillable Forms to help taxpayers regardless of income level who are comfortable preparing their own returns.
- Find a reputable tax professional. The IRS offers tips for choosing a return preparer, including certified public accountants, enrolled agents, attorneys and many others who don’t have a professional credential, along with details about national tax professional groups on IRS.gov.
- Free tax preparation assistance. There are thousands of Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) sites across the country available to help taxpayers who are eligible to claim the EITC. Visitgov, the IRS2go smartphone app or call toll-free 800-906-9887. Taxpayers should bring all required documents and information.
When to expect EITC refunds
Most EITC or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) related refunds should be available in bank accounts or on debit cards by Feb. 27 if taxpayers chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with their tax return. Taxpayers can check Where’s My Refund? for their personalized refund date. Where’s My Refund? will be updated with projected deposit dates for most early EITC/ACTC refund filers by February 17.
Take advantage of other valuable tax credits
Taxpayers should make IRS.gov their first stop to find valuable info this filing season. Even if a taxpayer does not qualify for the EITC, they may be eligible for other credits or deductions. The Interactive Tax Assistant is a helpful tool for taxpayers to see if they qualify for the Child Tax Credit, Additional Child Tax Credit or Credit for Other Dependents.
- Earned Income Tax Credit web page.
- Other Refundable Credits Toolkit.
- Statistics for Tax Returns with EITC, which includes state specific EITC claims, total dollar amounts and averages.
- IRSvideos, available on YouTube, which provides information about credits, deductions and tax law changes. The IRS also has videos in Spanish and American Sign Language.
- Publication 596, Earned Income Credit, offers a detailed overview of the EITC, the eligibility rules and instructions on how to claim
- @IRSnews and @IRSenEspanol, the IRS Twitter news feeds, provide the latest federal tax news and information for taxpayers in English and