What is the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a tax credit for low- to moderate-income working families and individuals. The EITC can help you reduce your tax liability and, in many cases, put money in your pocket. In general, a tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction of the taxes you owe. The EITC is known as a “refundable tax credit.” This means that if the amount you owe in taxes is less than the amount of the EITC you are eligible to receive, you will receive a check from the government for the difference.
To qualify for the EITC, you must have worked during at least part of 2012, meet certain income requirements, and file your taxes. You must file your taxes to receive the EITC, even if you did not earn enough money to be required to file. The EITC benefit is retroactive for three years, so review whether you filed for the EITC in recent years. If you meet the eligibility requirements and have not filed for the EITC in 2009, 2010, and/or 2011 you may be entitled to an even larger refund check!
Who Qualifies for EITC?
The following income guidelines for the 2012 Tax Year will help you determine if you may qualify for EITC. The low-to-moderate income threshold for FY 2013, Tax Year 2012 is $51,000. The threshold is based on tax year 2012 EITC AGI limits as shown below:
Earned Income and adjusted gross income (AGI) must each be less than:
- $45,060 ($50,270 married filing jointly) with three or more qualifying children
- $41,952 ($47,162 married filing jointly) with two qualifying children
- $36,920 ($42,130 married filing jointly) with one qualifying child
- $13,980 ($19,190 married filing jointly) with no qualifying children
Tax Year 2012 maximum credit:
- $5,891 with three or more qualifying children
- $5,236 with two qualifying children
- $3,169 with one qualifying child
- $475 with no qualifying children
For full details, visit the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) portion of the IRS website.
Call one of the numbers listed below in your area to schedule an appointment to have your taxes done free of charge by trained volunteers. All taxes are filed electronically, which means you could get your refund in as little as two weeks! Ask about direct deposit to get your refund deposited directly into your bank account.
The sites listed offer tax preparation and other services such as benefits screening. For additional sites, call 2-1-1.
Want to help? Click here to learn about becoming a free Tax Prep Volunteer.
Alliance for African Assistance: 619-286-9052
Home Start: 619-283-3624
San Diego Housing Commission: 619-578-7451
International Rescue Commission: 619-641-7510, ext. 287
Home Start: 619-401-8375, ext. 105
International Rescue Commission: 619-640-6208
Bronze Triangle CDC: 619-266-7312
South Bay Community Services: 619-420-3620
Turning Hearts Center: 1-888-494-4508
COPAO: 619-477-4090 or 619-507-5863
SAY San Diego: 858-974-3603
Chinese Service Center: 858-505-9906
Serving & Sharing Foundation Inc: 619-665-0878
Oceanside, Vista, Encinitas
North County Lifeline/Oceanside: 760-842-6225
Community Resource Center Carlsbad/Encinitas: 760-753-8300
Escondido, San Marcos
Interfaith Community Services:760-489-6380
North County Lifeline/Vista or San Marcos: 760-842-6225
What Do You Need?
When you go to file your taxes and apply for your tax credits, be sure to bring the following with you:
- Social Security card or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) for each family member
- Valid California ID
- All items listed that apply to your family
- W-2 forms for all jobs worked in 2012
- All 1099 forms for other income, if any
- Child-care provider name, address, and tax ID number
- Any other tax-related documents you have received
- Voided bank check for automatic deposit
- Copy of last year's tax return
- All adults on your return need to be present to sign forms