The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is designed to help people with low income by lowering the amount of federal income tax they owe. Even if you don’t earn enough money to owe federal income taxes, you may be able to get an EITC as long as you had some earned income. Many people who qualify for the EITC don’t get it, because they don’t know they could.

If you qualify, you can claim your EITC when you file your annual federal tax return. For 2018 (filing by April 2019), the EITC ranges from $519 to $6,431, depending on your adjusted gross income and the number of qualifying children in your family.

To qualify, you must have income from employment, self-employment, nontaxable combat pay, or your employer’s disability retirement plan (until you reach retirement age). There is no limit to the number of times you can claim an EITC; you can claim it for every year that you are eligible.

Here we’ll explain the EITC in detail.