Enacted by Congress in 1975, the Earned Income Tax Credit or EITC is a federal income tax credit for workers who don't earn a high income and who meet certain eligibility requirements. Those who qualify and claim the credit could pay less federal tax, pay no tax or even get a tax refund. You don't need to have a child to claim EITC. Also, there are special rules for individuals receiving disability benefits and members of the military.
Generally, income and family size determine eligibility and the EITC amount you can receive. The maximum amount of the credit for Tax Year 2018 is $6,431. During 2017, 25 million received about $63 billion in EITC and the average amount of EITC credit was about $2,488. 1
More in-depth information about EITC and the eligibility requirements see the EITC Home page.
1Source - Calendar Half Year Report, June 2018. Historically, half year data represents over 95 percent of EITC returns.