Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for Head Start and Early Head Start Programs

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a tax benefit for low-income individuals and families. Program staff may find this information useful in educating families on EITC. Many Head Start families may be eligible for a tax refund up to $5,751 in 2011.

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a tax benefit for working individuals and families with low to moderate incomes. If you qualify, the EITC will reduce your taxes and could give you back up to $5,751 when you file your federal tax return. Even if you don't owe income tax, you can get a refund through the EITC.

There are several ways you can help families in your community determine their eligibility and apply for EITC:

  • The 2012 Tax Credit Outreach Kit – This resource from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities offers many outreach ideas and information that you may use to inform and serve families who are eligible for the EITC.
  • Ten Ways Early Childhood Programs Can Promote The Earned Income Credit and the Child Tax Credit [PDF, 20KB] – Learn about the strategies that have been used to raise awareness about EITC that are specific to the early childhood community.
  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) - The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) lists contact information for VITA sites throughout the United States. Programs can encourage eligible families to visit these sites when applying for EITC and other tax credits. 
  • Tax Credits Outreach – This annual campaign, conducted by the National Women’s Law Center and their partners, encourages working families to get the facts about tax credit eligibility.
  • State Fliers – These materials, provided by the National Women's Law Center, include tax credit information specific to each state and the District of Columbia. Advocates and families may download these resources to learn more about federal and state tax credits or to use in community outreach.
  • Tax Credits for Working Families – This resource provides extensive information and tools to help community-based organizations raise awareness of EITC and other tax credits.

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for Head Start and Early Head Start Programs. HHS/ACF/OHS. 2012. English.

Last Reviewed: March 2012

Last Updated: December 13, 2012