The IRS wants to make sure you get your Earned Income Tax Credit, if you deserve it. This year, the IRS is teaming up with community organizations across the country to talk about the benefit that is available to millions of workers who earned $52,427 or less in 2014. That includes workers without children and those who had no taxes withheld from their paychecks.

“About four out of five eligible workers and families get the credit they earned,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “That leaves millions missing EITC every year.”

Some may think it’s not available to them, especially individuals who do not have children. In fact, the Earned Income Tax Credit ranges from up to $496 for workers without children to $6,143 for families with three or more qualifying children. The amount is determined by family size, filing status and income.

The credit is refundable, so if you’re eligible, you may get a refund, even if you owe no tax.

 

How do I get the Earned Income Tax Credit?

Here are some of the requirements for those who seek to claim the credit. More can be found here.

  • You must file a tax return, even if you are not legally required to file.
  • You must have earned income. This can come from working for yourself or for someone else.
  • Your filing status cannot be “married filing separately.”
  • You must have Social Security numbers that are valid for employment for yourself, your spouse, if married, and any qualifying children.
  • You do not have to be married or have children to qualify. If you do not have children, you will be subject to age, residency and dependency rules. If you have children, they must have lived with you for more than six months in 2014 and they must meet age, residency and relationship rules.

 

The IRS says that about a third of the people eligible for the credit fluctuate each year because of changes to their marital, parental or financial status. Let’s say you lost your job and got new one but you earn less; you may be eligible. Maybe you are a grandparent who has returned to work to earn money to raise your grandchildren; you could be eligible.

It’s easy to find out if you qualify. Your tax preparer can help. It’s worth checking. The IRS said that last year, almost 28 million workers and families received $66 billion in Earned Income Tax Credit. The average payout: $2,400.