Finding money: do you qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit?

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EIC or EITC) is designed to help reduce the tax burden for low to moderate income families. Many qualified people fail to take this credit on their tax returns, missing out on a lump sum tax reimbursement that could be used to start a savings plan or pay down bills. It may not be too late to make your claim, since you can file amended returns for up to three years. To find out if you are eligible, check the IRS website at and use its "EITC Assistant." If you don't have a computer, you can probably get access through your local library. Also, free tax return preparation assistance is often available through a local nonprofit or community group. See the Resources section for information about finding tax preparation help.