The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a federal tax program that reduces the amount of income tax owed by low to moderate income workers and families. Even people who don’t earn enough to owe federal income taxes may get a refund from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) if they qualify for an EITC.

The EITC for tax year 2018 (filing by April 2019) ranges from $519 to $6,431. To qualify, you must have income from employment, self-employment, or employer-paid disability benefits received prior to retirement. There is no limit to the number of times you can claim an EITC; you can claim one every year that you qualify. Families with a permanently and totally disabled child will always qualify for an EITC, as long as they meet other program requirements. Those requirements are discussed in this article and can be found on the IRS website.

The state Earned Income Tax Credit

There is also an Earned Income Tax Credit for California state income taxes. The California Franchise Tax Board has more information about the state EITC.