Can the Earned Income Tax Credit Help You?

The earned income tax credit (EITC) can help people with low-to-moderate income, but it can also increase IRS audit risk for some.

piggy bank climbing ladder
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Every year in January, the IRS dedicates a day to Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) awareness. This tax credit allows eligible people with low-to-moderate income to get a tax refund of up to $7,830. This year, the IRS expects millions of workers to qualify for the credit for the first time. Therefore, spreading the word about EITC and its eligibility criteria is important.

Also, a recent study by Stanford University and the U.S. Treasury Department discovered that the IRS conducts audits on certain taxpayers at higher rates, partly due to the EITC. That's why it's also essential to understand how the earned income tax credit works and its potential impact on IRS audit risk. 

Subscribe to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Be a smarter, better informed investor.

Save up to 74%

Sign up for Kiplinger’s Free E-Newsletters

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice on investing, taxes, retirement, personal finance and more - straight to your e-mail.

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice - straight to your e-mail.

Sign up

To continue reading this article
please register for free

This is different from signing in to your print subscription

Why am I seeing this? Find out more here

Kelley R. Taylor
Senior Tax Editor,

As the senior tax editor at, Kelley R. Taylor simplifies federal and state tax information, news, and developments to help empower readers. Kelley has over two decades of experience advising on and covering education, law, finance, and tax as a corporate attorney and business journalist.