EITC Relief: Temporary Special Rule for Determination of Earned Income
Under the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020, you may elect to use your 2019 earned income to figure your 2020 EITC if your 2019 earned income is more than your 2020 earned income. For details, see Publication 596.
Use one or more of the following EITC facts during the 2021 filing season in your articles, flyers, speeches or presentations to better target the EITC Key Communication Messages to your audience.
Nationwide during 2020, 25 million eligible workers and families received about $62 billion in EITC
The average amount of EITC received nationwide was about $2,4611
- EITC is for workers whose income does not exceed the following limits in 2020:
- $50,954 ($56,844 married filing jointly) with three or more qualifying children
- $47,7440 ($53,330 married filing jointly) with two qualifying children
- $41,756 ($47,646 married filing jointly) with one qualifying child
- $15,820 ($21,710 married filing jointly) with no qualifying children
** Investment income must be $3,650 or less
- Children must meet certain relationship, age, residency and joint return requirements to be a qualifying child. See if your child qualifies you for EITC; see "Qualifying Child Rules" on irs.gov or Publication 596.
- Take the credit you’re due. The EITC credit ranges from:
- $11 to $6,660 with three or more qualifying children
- $10 to $5,920 with two qualifying children
- $9 to $3,584 with one qualifying child
- $2 to $538 with no qualifying children
- About one-third of the EITC eligible population turns over each year, so check your EITC eligibility today at www.IRS.gov/eitc.
- EITC can be a boost to you, your family and community. Anyone with earnings of $55,844 or less should see if they qualify at www.IRS.gov/eitc or visit a volunteer tax assistance site.
- Four of five eligible workers claim and get their EITC. We want to raise that number to five out of five. You earned it, "now file, claim it and get it." See if you qualify at www.IRS.gov/eitc.
- The EITC and CTC greatly reduce poverty for working families. These working-family tax credits lifted 5.6 million people out of poverty in 2018, including 3 million children, and made 16.5 million other people less poor.2
- Millions of workers qualify for EITC for the first time this year, making awareness critical. Workers move into and out of eligibility based on changes in their marital, parental and financial status.
- If you qualify for EITC, see what other child-related tax credits you may be eligible to claim.
- The amount of the EITC depends on the amount you earned from working for someone or for yourself, whether you are married or single, and the number of qualifying children you have, if any. Don’t miss out, find out if you are eligible at www.IRS.gov/eitc.
- If you qualify for EITC, you must file a federal income tax return and claim the credit to get it, even if you owe no tax or aren’t required to file a return.
- Workers at risk for overlooking this important credit include those:
- Living in non-traditional homes, such as a grandparent raising a grandchild
- Whose earnings declined or whose marital or parental status changed
- Without children
- With limited English skills
- Living in rural areas
- Who are Native Americans?
- With earnings below the filing requirement
- Who have disabilities or are raising children with disabilities?
- If you qualify for the Federal EITC, you may also be eligible for a similar credit from your state or local government. Twenty-eight states, plus local municipalities including the District of Columbia and New York City, offer residents an earned income tax credit for 2020.
- You can determine your eligibility and file and claim your EITC for free:
- Use the online EITC Assistant at www.irs.gov to help you determine if you are eligible. The 2020 tax year versions in both English and Spanish will be available in January 2021.
- If you make $57,000 a year or less in 2020, you can access free tax return preparation services available at more than 13,000 community volunteer tax assistance sites.
- If you made $72,000 or less in 2020, you can use brand name software products through IRS’s Free File and electronically file your return to claim your EITC. Visit www.IRS.gov to access the software.
- The IRS works with national partners, community-based coalitions and thousands of local partners and governments. These partnerships provide free EITC tax return preparation and tax help and tax education.
- You should choose a tax preparer carefully. You are responsible for the accuracy of your own return. If you pay someone to prepare your tax return, the preparer must sign it and enter his or her PTIN, Preparer Tax Identification Number. Don’t ever sign a blank tax return. Find out what you should know if you pay someone to do your taxes.
If you claim EITC that indicates you were reckless or showed intentional disregard of the EITC rules or fraud, your refund could be denied and you may be banned from claiming the credit for 2 to 10 years.
1Source: December 2020, Calendar Year Report (TY2019).
2Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Policy Basics: The Earned Income Tax Credit, December, 2019.
Additional Reference Material
- EITC Key Messages - Using the same key messages makes our collaborative efforts more powerful.
- Tips for Writing a Feature Story - you can use one of our "Grab and Go" products listed below, but if you choose to create your own see these handy tips.
- EITC Statistics by State - find the number of EITC Claims, the total EITC amount paid and the average amount paid per claim for tax returns filed during 2019 for the 2018 Tax Year.