SOUTHEAST TENNESSEE LEGAL SERVICES

 

 

Skip to main content
Michigan LawHelp
 
 
 
 
The Earned Income Tax Credit

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EIC) is available to low-income workers and their families. Families with one or more children can receive a refund of up to $3,888 from the IRS this year. Here are some facts about the EIC:

bulletChildren must live with their parents for at least six months of the year in order for the parents to claim the EIC. If the children live in Mexico or another country for more than six months of the year, the parents do not qualify for the EIC, even though they can claim them as dependents.
 
bulletAs of 1996, parents and their qualifying children must be citizens or legal residents of the United States in order for the family to qualify for the EIC. This means that if the mother, father or any of the qualifying children are not properly documented, the family does not qualify for the EIC.
 
bulletThe EIC is for workers only. Taxpayers whose only sources of income are welfare, unemployment benefits, social security and worker's compensation do not qualify for the EIC, because such income does not come from work.
 
bulletSingle or married taxpayers between the ages of 25 and 65 with no qualifying- children who earned less than $10,380 can receive a credit of up to $353. Qualified single or married individuals who have not applied for this refund in the past should do so the next time he or she files a tax return.
 
bulletMarried taxpayers should not apply separately for the EIC. The rules do not allow the husband and wife to divide the children between themselves with each receiving the EIC.
 
bullet"Married taxpayers filing separately" do not qualify for the EIC. However, legally separated taxpayers can receive the EIC.
 
bulletTaxpayers have the choice of receiving their EIC refund in their regular pay check or as a lump sum when they file their tax return.
 
bulletIt is very important that taxpayers choose a tax preparer who knows the tax laws. A tax preparer who does not know the tax laws can cause the taxpayer a lot of problems with the IRS.
 
bulletAlways make sure that the person preparing your taxes signs your tax form.
 
bulletSince 2000, parents can get $500 for each child under the age of 17. This new 'child credit" has rules similar to those of the EIC.
 
bulletBeginning in 2000, a taxpayer who claims the EIC when, in fact, he or she is not eligible to receive it may not be allowed to again claim the EIC for up to 10 years.

Beware of the Rapid Refund

bulletRapid Refund is also known as the income tax refund advance, instant tax refund, instant tax refund loan, quick tax refund, RAL, Refund Anticipation Loans, rapid tax refund, and tax refund loan.
 
bulletRapid Refunds are easily confused with the actual IRS income tax refunds received from electronic filing with IRS. Rapid Refunds are NOT tax refunds from IRS, they are high interest loans that use your income tax refund to pay off the loan.
 
bulletThe fees charged for a Rapid Refund are high, so you will end up losing a lot of your tax refund to the Rapid Refund business. For example, if your income tax refund is $1000 you could be charged $70 to receive the money you could get from IRS in three weeks.
 
bulletATTENTION: If you file electronically, your refund will be sent to you directly in ONLY three weeks.
 
 
Information, Not Legal Advice.  We are providing this information as a public service.  We try to make it accurate as of the date noted in the materials.  Sometimes the laws change.  We cannot promise that this information is always up-to-date and correct.

We do not intend this information to be legal advice.  By providing this information, we are not acting as your lawyer.  If you need legal advice, you should contact a lawyer through your local legal aid organization.  Always talk to a competent lawyer, if you can, before taking legal action.

E-mail.  Viewing this web site, or sending an e-mail message to the Michigan Poverty Law Program or other legal organization through this web site, does not create an attorney-client relationship between the Michigan Poverty Law Program or other organization and you.  Sending e-mail to an attorney mentioned in this site does NOT create an attorney-client relationship between you and the attorney.  Unless you are already a client, your e-mail may NOT be protected by the attorney-client privilege.  Also, unless it is encrypted, e-mail can be intercepted by other people. 

Deadlines are extremely important in most legal matters.  You may lose important legal rights if you do not obtain an attorney immediately to advise you.  Many people do not check their e-mail daily, and some attorneys do not respond to unsolicited e-mail.

Lawyer Advertising.  This web site is not intended to be advertising or solicitation.  Hiring a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based on advertisements.  Before hiring an attorney, you should investigate his or her reputation and qualifications.

Links.  Some of the items listed here have not been prepared by us, but are instead "links" to information prepared and posted by others.  We cannot guarantee the accuracy of information posted on other sites.  The links are not intended to imply that we sponsor or are affiliated or associated with the people who created those sites, nor are the links intended to imply that we are legally authorized to use any trade name, registered trademark, logo, legal or official seal, or copyrighted symbol that may be reflected in the links.

Powered by ProBono.Net
 
MI LawHelp is provided as a public service by:
Michigan Poverty Law Program     Michigan State Bar Association     Michigan State Bar Foundation     Legal Services Corporation