Earned Income Credit: Are you part of the 20% missing out on extra money?

The IRS reports only 4 out of 5 people who qualify for the Earned Income Credit actually claims it, this credit can put $2,400 back in your pocket at tax time. The IRS has developed an easy to use help system that will allow you to determine if you qualify for the credit. If you earned less than $52,427 in 2014 and have qualifying children you may be eligible for a tax refund of up to $6,143. Even tax filers with no qualifying children could get a credit of up to $496.

Do You Qualify?

If you meet the following criteria you may qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit:

  • You are a US Citizen with a valid Social Security Number or were a resident alien for the full year.
  • Your income was earned through regular employment or self-employment wages.
  • For the year have no more than $3,350 in investment income.
  • Are not a qualifying child of someone claiming the ?
  • You cannot file as Married Filing Separate.
  • You cannot file Forms 2555 or 2555-EZ, Foreign Earned Income.

If you have no qualifying children, yourself, and your spouse if filing jointly need to meet these conditions:

  • Lived in the United States for 6 or more months in 2014.
  • Are between 25 and 65 years old.
  • Are not claimed as a dependent on another person’s tax return

For those with qualifying children:

  • Must be a son or daughter, adopted child or natural, a child placed for adoption, stepchild or authorized foster child.
  • Brother, sister, half brother or sister, step siblings, or any descendants of them, such as nieces or nephews.
  • The qualifying child must have been 18 years of age or younger at the end of 2014, and younger then the person claiming the EITC, or a full time student and under the age of 24.
  • If you have a child that is permanently or totally disabled there is an exception to the age requirement.
  • The child must live for at least 6 months with the person claiming the EITC, or spouse if you are using the status of Married Filing Jointly. If you are in the military and on extended duty outside of the United States special rules may apply.
  • The qualifying child must have not filed a joint return, unless the child or the spouse of the child filed the return only to claim a refund.