The Earned Income Credit (EIC) is a special tax benefit only for people who work full- or part-time. Those who qualify will owe less in taxes and may get a refund. Even a person who does not generally owe income tax may qualify for the EIC, however you must file a tax return to do so. If you are married, you must file jointly to qualify. To file, fill out Form 1040 or 1040A, and attach the EIC.
If you were raising a child in your home in 2011, you may also be able to receive part of the credit on your paycheck during the year with Advance EIC. Get Form W-5 from your employer, or call 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
You can also visit the Earned Income Tax Credit Website.