Another free app from Intuit, the makers of TurboTax, the EITC Finder helps you determine if you qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and how much you should expect to receive from the federal and state government.
The EITC is reserved for moderate-to-low-income working American families. The tax credit, which was created in 1975, helps to keep struggling families above the poverty line. In fact, the EITC is widely considered the most effective anti-poverty measure employed by the federal government, keeping millions out of poverty each year. In 2010, 26.8 million Americans received an EITC for a total of $59.5 billion [source: Internal Revenue Service]. Unfortunately, not everyone who qualifies for the EITC actually claims it. The IRS estimates that one out of five qualifying families misses out.
If you make less than $50,000 a year, the EITC finder can help you determine if you qualify. The app will walk you through all of the qualifying questions, including those about your family, filing status, residency status and income. To claim the maximum federal credit ($5,751 in 2011), you would need to make around $15,000 a year and have three or more children. Several states offer their own EITC credits, too.