The EIC is designed to offset the burden of Social Security taxes for low-income workers. You can claim this tax credit even if you have no tax liability.
You may qualify for the EIC if your earned income and adjusted gross income are less than:
- $12,880 ($15,880 if Married Filing Jointly) with no qualifying children.
- $33,995 ($36,995 if Married Filing Jointly) with 1 qualifying child.
- $38,646 ($41,646 if Married Filing Jointly) with more than 1 qualifying child.
Child Tax Credit
You can claim $1,000 for each child. The 2008 Child Tax Credit begins to phase out when your AGI is more than these limits:
- $75,000 if Single, Head of Household or Qualifying Widow(er)
- $110,000 if Married Filing Jointly
- $55,000 if Married Filing Separately
If your income tax is reduced to zero and your earned income is more than $8,500 (for 2008), you may be eligible to claim the Child Tax Credit.
You could get a tax credit for up to half of what you contribute to a qualified retirement plan or IRA. Claim the Saver's Credit if you meet all the qualifications:
- You're age 18 or older.
- You aren't a full-time student.
- You aren't claimed as a dependent on someone else's return.
- Your AGI doesn't exceed $26,500 ($53,000 if Married Filing Jointly, or $39,750 for Head of Household).
If you were subject to the AMT in a prior year and you're not subject to the AMT this year, you may be eligible to claim the minimum tax credit. Up to 50% of the amount carried to 2008 from years before 2006 may be refundable.
Claiming Overpaid Taxes
If you're eligible for any of the above tax credits, the IRS allows you to reclaim your lost money by filing an amended tax return for prior years. However, you can file an amended return only for up to the past 3 years.
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