Today is dedicated to raising awareness of a federal tax credit heralded as the single most effective antipoverty program for working age people. Indeed, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) brought 6.5 million people above the poverty line in 2015, including 3.3 million children. The credit also reduced the severity of poverty for another 21.2 million people, including 7.7 million children.
For all of EITC’s successes on reducing poverty, only four out of five eligible taxpayers successfully claim it on their federal tax returns every year, which means that more than 6 million people leave money on the table during tax time. With the 2017 tax season already underway, we must arm ourselves with information about the EITC before filing our tax returns. This knowledge could make the difference between paying less in taxes, no taxes, or even receiving a tax refund.