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