How to get Maximum Earned Income Tax Credit

For low to moderate income families, the Earned Income Tax Credit is available to help reduce the amount of federal income taxes that you owe. The refundable credit is available to families who earn the majority of their income through working (opposed to investing) and can actually reduce the federal taxes to less than zero for qualified families.

For the current tax year, in order to qualify for the credit, your investment income must be less than $3,350 for the year. In addition, you can't file "married filing separately", or claim the foreign earned income exclusion. You also can't be claimed as a qualifying child on anyone else's return, and you are required to file an income tax for the year in order to receive the credit.

If you qualify, the total credit amount is dependent on your annual income and the number of eligible children. For 2014, you can receive as much as:

$6,413 if you have three or more eligible children

$5,460 if you have two eligible children

$3,305 if you have one eligible child

$496 if you have no eligible children