Are You Eligible for the EITC? Get It, and Get It Right With Free Tax Help

Jan. 27, 2023 (Racine, WI) — Workers may get a larger tax refund this year because of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). But to get it, they must file a tax return and claim it.

Jan. 27, 2023, marks the 17th anniversary of EITC Awareness Day, a nationwide effort to increase awareness about the EITC and free tax preparation sites. This year, the IRS is promoting the EITC and providing information on other refundable tax credits that taxpayers may be eligible for.

In Wisconsin, approximately 461,000 taxpayers received over $869 million in EITC from 2021 tax returns.

Racine County residents who worked last year and had income of less than $59,187 can check their eligibility for the EITC. The EITC can mean up to a $6,935 refund when the taxpayer files a return and has qualifying children. Workers without a qualifying child could be eligible for a smaller credit up to $560. According to the Internal Revenue Service, the average amount credited for 2022 was $2,043.

Why is it important to have an EITC Awareness Day each year? One-third of the EITC population changes each year. The IRS estimates that four out of five workers claim the EITC they earned. This leaves billions of dollars on the table each year. It’s important to get the word out to those who are eligible to file a tax return even if they don’t owe any tax to claim the EITC. It’s money workers can use for groceries, rent, utilities and other bills.

The EITC is complex. It varies by income, family size and filing status. To be eligible, taxpayers must have earned income or certain disability income. This means they must have income from working for someone or working for themselves.

If taxpayers are unsure if they qualify for the EITC, they can sign up for a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) appointment. Volunteers – trained by the Internal Revenue Service – ask you the needed questions to find out if taxpayers qualify for the EITC and other refundable tax credits. They can also provide free preparation and electronic filing of tax returns.

“Taxes can be confusing if you are not familiar with the terminology being used. United Way’s VITA program aims to make taxes easy and free,” said Lori Riffer, United Way of Racine County initiatives director. “The EITC is just one valuable resource that our program can help you navigate.”

To learn more about the EITC and how to claim it for yourself or others, as well as other tax resources,  schedule a VITA appointment: call (262) 383-2504 or visit