How to Figure Out What Your Refund Will Be Using the Earned Income Tax Credit Table

by Shanika Chapman ; Updated July 27, 2017
To calculate your refund, you must first determine what your earned income credit will be.

In order to figure your refund for the earned income tax credit, you must first determine how much your earned income credit, or EIC, will be. This can be done using a set of IRS forms that can be linked through the References section.

Step 1

Collect your W-2 or pay stub, if you are calculating for the current year, to determine your annual earned income. Then, refer to the EIC Table 1, which can be found in the appendix of IRS Publication 596, to determine whether your gross income qualifies you for the credit. Verify that your child qualifies for the credit. If not, or if you don't have children, you may be eligible to claim the earned income tax credit. The income limit, however, is significantly reduced.

Step 2

Download an IRS Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ and the accompanying instruction booklet. Unless you are self-employed, a statutory employee or a member of the clergy or a church employee who files Schedule SE (Form 1040), you will file an EIC Worksheet A.

Step 3

If you use EIC Worksheet A, enter your earned income on line 1 of the EIC worksheet. Then, refer to the EIC table to find the credit based on your earned income. Continue to fill out EIC Worksheet A. This will give you your EIC credit.

Step 4

If you use EIC Worksheet B, complete the parts of 1 through 3 that apply and part 4. This will give you your earned income. Then refer to the EIC table to determine the credit. Complete Worksheet B. This will give you your earned income credit.

Step 5

Enter the earned income credit amount onto whichever 1040 form you are using. Continue filling out the form to determine your refund.

Tips

  • If you have determined that your child qualifies for the EITC, download Schedule EIC and fill it out with your child's full name, Social Security number, birth date, relationship and number of months that the child had resided in the United States.

    You may qualify for advanced EIC payments. If so, you must fill out a W-5 and submit it to your employer.

About the Author

Shanika Chapman has been writing business-related articles since 2009. She holds a Bachelor of Science in social science from the University of Maryland University College. Chapman also served for four years in the Air Force and has run a successful business since 2008.

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