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Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC)

Putting cash in your family's pocket every month for the things you need, even if you make little or no money. Claim the Child Tax Credit today!

Advanced payments of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) will become available to qualifying families July 15th of 2021. The CTC, which was increased by the American Rescue Plan signed into law this year, provides up to $300 per month per child under age 6, and up to $250 per month per child ages 6 to 17.

You can receive the Child Tax Credit if you have children, even if you make little or no money, or have not filed a tax return.

The following link provides a guide for determining whether or not you may need to take further steps to receive the Child Tax Credit, the tools needed to take any next steps, and answers to commonly asked questions.

About the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit

In times of financial hardship experienced by many during this pandemic, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) help families to stabilize their financial situation. These programs provide substantial financial returns up to thousands in money back to account for your unique circumstances.

If you qualify for the EITC, you also qualify to have your taxes prepared for free. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, free tax preparation services this year include options to either file online, or virtually through a remote appointment with an IRS-certified volunteer. Click here to browse free options and learn what's best for you! For additional help deciding which free option is best for you, call 2-1-1. The Virginia Department of Social Services is encouraging eligible individuals to complete their federal and state taxes for 2020 as soon as possible. While the tax filing deadline was May 17th, you can continue to file throughout the year!

Do I qualify for the EITC?

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is for working people who earn less than $56,844. If you meet the general guidelines, your earned income must be less than:

  • $15,820 ($21,710 if married filing a joint return) with no qualifying children

  • $41,756 ($47,646 if married filing a joint return) with one qualifying child

  • $47,440 ($53,330 if married filing a joint return) with two qualifying children

  • $50,594 ($56,844 if married filing a joint return) with three or more qualifying children

Use this EITC Calculator to see your projected EITC amount.

*The above earned income guidelines are for Tax Year 2020.

Free Tax Preparation Assitance

While the tax deadline is May 17th, you can continue to file throughout the year.

File Virtually On Your Own

Using MyFreeTaxes or any of the options provided by Virginia Free File, choose the course of action that best suits your circumstances. These sites allow you to file your taxes directly online, guiding you through a series of prompts and questions about your finances until you've completed the tax filing process.

Several options, such as MyFreeTaxes, offer an assistance hotline.

File Virtually with an IRS-certified volunteer

Go to and begin filing using a smartphone, tablet, or computer with internet access!

  1. Answer questions
    • The website will direct you through a series of questions about your finances.
  2. Submit documents
    • Upload all necessary documents (ID, W-2's, 1099, 1095-A,B,C).
  3. Phone review
    • Your tax preparer will review everything with you over the phone via call or text - the choice is yours! Make sure to have a reliable contact number for your remote appointment.
  4. Get your refund!
    • Your tax preparer will help you to file electronically.

File at a Volunteer Income Tax Assistant (VITA) Site Through a Virtual or In-Person Appointment*

*Virtual Capacity varies from site to site; many VITA sites operating with limited capacity after the May 17th tax deadline.

If you would like to visit a physical site for free tax preparation, you can use the following IRS VITA Site Locator, dial 2-1-1, or visit to find a location near you.

Please keep in mind that all VITA sites are all different, and that many have adjusted operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many sites are not conducting on-site tax preparation as in past years, and many more are operating at a modified and/or limited capacity for the same reason.

Several VITA sites have the capacity for virtual appointments on a limited basis. Please refer to the service details for the VITA site of your choice provided on the VITA Site Locator.

Contact Us

For additional EITC assistance, you may contact us in the following ways:

For contact information regarding other VDSS programs and services, click here.