The federal earned income tax credit (also known as EITC) is refundable income tax benefit available to low and moderate-income working individuals or couples. The amount of benefit varies, and is based on a recipient’s income and number of children. Fortunately, this tax credit is widely available to people with low or moderate incomes. Learn more about EITC and how to claim it. For most people, EITC is worth more than they pay, so it’s important to understand its limitations.

First of all, remember that you can’t claim the EITC if you don’t work. It can affect your ability to file taxes and may reduce the amount of money you pay in federal taxes. This is why you should file a timely and accurate tax return and claim your EITC as soon as you are able. You can amend your previous tax returns if you didn’t claim your EITC. The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act has made some changes to the rules that apply to EITC.

While the EITC phases out over time, it does so slowly. It phases out at 16% and 21% depending on the number of children, and has a constant “plateau” at $3,584 for earners earning up to $10,540. Once the credit is over $19,330, it declines by $0.1598 for each additional dollar earned. This contrasts with the traditional welfare approach, which correlated the EITC to the dollar-for-dollar decrease in earnings.

Although the EITC has been around longer than the CTC, it is a proven way to raise income for working families. This credit has helped improve children’s outcomes, as it increases the number of children who are educated and employed. In addition, it has been linked to improved health and outcomes for both children and parents. In other words, the EITC and CTC are both a win-win for low-income families.

However, some taxpayers may qualify for an EITC even though their income will be lower in 2021 than it is in 2019. If the amount of earned income is less than $10,000 in 2019, the EITC is applied to that year’s earnings. Married taxpayers can use the combined incomes of both spouses. A separated but still-married taxpayer can also qualify for EITC. People with disabilities may also be eligible for this tax credit.

An EITC is a federal tax credit available to low to moderate-income workers. It is equal to a percentage of their income, and the higher the number of children, the larger the credit is. This tax break can save individuals and families thousands of dollars over the course of their lifetime. If you meet these criteria, you may qualify for the credit, and it’s worth filing your taxes. If you don’t have a Social Security number, you can apply for an extension of the credit until 2021.

The EITC was amended by the Congress in 2009. In addition to making the EITC more generous, policymakers increased the threshold for eligibility and the amount of eligible income. The maximum credit for childless individuals increased from $538 to $1,502, while the income level at which the EITC phases out for married couples rose from $15,980 to $21,000. These changes are important because they make the EITC more equitable, and increase the refund potential.