Millions missing out on Earned Income Tax Credit


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Sarah Morales and her husband became homeowners in 2014.

“Having a house is a dream for every family, and I thank God for my house!” Morales said during a State House event on Friday.

The couple saved up for the down payment with money they received through the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a program offered by both the federal and state governments that provides an extra boost to moderate- and lower-income workers.

“My husband and I, we work hard and we get the EITC refund every year,” said Morales. “That EITC helped us to reach our dream.”

According to the IRS, more than 27 million workers and families received almost $67 billion in Earned Income Tax Credits last year. The average credit was $2,455.

“That injected nearly $200 million into the Rhode Island economy,” said U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse. “The problem is only four out of five eligible families took it.”

If you earned $53,505 or less in 2016, you may qualify. According to the IRS, eligible families with three or more qualifying children could get a maximum credit of more than $6,200. Even for people without children, the credit could add $506 to their tax refunds.

“This is money that working families have earned,” said Congressman David Cicilline. “It’s coming back to them and very often helps people pay a bill, fix a car, do things that are really challenging to those that are struggling.”

If you claim the Earned Income Tax Credit, your tax refund will be delayed. A new law requires the IRS to hold all refunds claiming the EITC and the Additional Child Tax Credit until Feb. 15, 2017.

To see if you qualify, go to

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