Taxpayers skipping tax credit could miss out on huge refund

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- Tax experts say too many people are skipping the potentially helpful Earned Income Tax Credit portion of their returns.

"It's a huge benefit. It'll boost your income," Sandy Abalos, a CPA with REDW LLC told 3TV. "It's to essentially incentivize and reward those that are out in the workplace trying to make it."

The EITC is designed to help lower-income taxpayers who have a job, and especially those who have children.

Taxpayers who qualify could earn credits on their returns between $496 and $6,143.

Households with three or more children qualify for the EITC if they earn less than $52,427.

Families with two children qualify if they earn less than $49,186.

Households with one child qualify if they earn less than $43,941.

Households with no children qualify if income is less than $20,020.

Eligibility changes year by year, depending on life events such as divorce, marriage, or children growing up.

After a divorce, only one parent is allowed to claim the child as a dependent for the EITC.

"Just because it may be a little complex doesn't mean you shouldn't pursue that to its fullest, because it's just such a benefit. It could help with feeding children, school supplies, and all the things it's intended to assist with," Abalos said.

The IRS posted a tool to help taxpayers figure out their eligibility. It is available here.