TAS Tax Tip: Claiming the EITC or CTC Credit this year? Here are some tips…

March 8, 2019

Are you planning on claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Child Tax Credit (CTC) on your federal tax return this year? If yes, then you should know some things have changed since last year.

Child Tax Credit

The first thing you need to be aware of is that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act changed the requirement for claiming the CTC. Eligible children must have a Social Security Number (SSN) that is valid for employment. If you have a newborn or other child for whom you do not have a SSN yet, you may want to visit your local Social Security office or apply online soon and get one before you have to file.

Earned Income Tax Credit

Under the EITC, eligible families with three or more qualifying children could get a maximum credit of up to $6,431. EITC for people without children could mean up to $519 added to their tax refund.

All workers who earned around $54,000 or less should learn about EITC eligibility and use the EITC Assistant to find out if they qualify before filing. The Assistant will help determine your filing status, if you have a qualifying child or children, if you qualify to receive the EITC, and estimate the amount of the credit you could get. If you don’t qualify, the Assistant explains why.

Also, before you file, you should check out the How Do I Claim EITC? Information there will tell you:

  • the documents you need
  • the common errors to avoid
  • the consequences of filing an EITC claim with an error on the return
  • what you need to do if your EITC was denied in a previous year
  • how to claim the credit for earlier tax years

Another great resource is our Get Help page for Claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Other Credits

In addition to the EITC, if you have children or other dependents, you may be eligible to claim the Child Tax Credit ($2,000 per qualifying child), the Additional Child Tax Credit ($1,400 per qualifying child), or the new Credit for Other Dependents ($500 per qualifying person). Don’t miss out on any of these credits! All are refundable and can put money in your pocket.

Other Changes Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

For individuals, TAS’s Tax Reform Changes website, in both English and Spanish, has information for you about what is changing and what is not in this tax year in an easy to understand format by topic and line-by-line on last year’s (2017) Form 1040. It also tells you where to report those items on the new 2018 Form 1040 and schedules.

Need Help Filing?

See our TAS Tax Tip: Tax Filing Help Information page.

When Will I Get My Refund?

Many different factors can affect the timing of your refund after the IRS receives your return. Even though the IRS issues most refunds in less than 21 days, it’s possible your refund may take longer. Also, remember to take into consideration the time it takes for your financial institution to post the refund to your account or for you to receive it by mail. Whether you file electronically or on paper, direct deposit gives you access to your refund faster than a paper check. You can use Where's My Refund? ‎on IRS.gov and the IRS2Go mobile App to check on the status of your refund.

Still Don’t Have Your Refund Yet?

If you were expecting a tax refund and it hasn’t arrived, there are many reasons why it could be delayed or it hasn't been delivered. So, if you still don’t have your refund and it has been 21 days or more since you e-filed (or six weeks or more since you mailed your return), visit our I don't have my refund page for ideas on what to do next.

Other Resources:

Request an expedited refund by calling the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 (TTY/TDD 1-800-829-4059).