Tax Tip: Want a bigger paycheck? Check out the Advanced Earned Income Credit.

Internal Revenue Service Tax Tips on Shoeboxed Blog

Why wait? You may be eligible for a tax credit right now that could mean larger paychecks this summer. This benefit is called the Advanced Earned Income Credit or Advance EIC.

If you expect to qualify for the credit in 2008, you may be able to start getting part of the credit with your pay now. Otherwise, you could wait until you file your tax return in 2009.

To receive part of the credit with your pay, you must expect to have at least one qualifying child for the current year, expect to fall within certain income limits, and expect to meet certain other conditions. You cannot get the Advance EIC if you do not expect to have a qualifying child, even if you expect to be eligible to claim the EIC on your current year tax return. To see if you qualify, ask your employer for the current year Form W-5, Earned Income Credit Advance Payment Certificate.

If you qualify, complete Form W–5 and give it to your employer. Your employer will then add the advance earned income credit to your net pay each pay period you are eligible.

You may have only one Form W–5 in effect with a current employer at one time. If you and your spouse are both employed, each of you must file a separate Form W–5.

If your situation changes after you give your employer Form W–5, you must give your employer a new Form W–5. For example, give your employer a new Form W–5 if you no longer expect to qualify for the EIC or you no longer want to get advance payments of the credit with your pay.

Remember, if you receive the EIC with your pay during the current year, you must file Form 1040A or Form 1040 for the current year to report the advance payments you received during the year and to take advantage of any remaining credit. You cannot use Form 1040EZ. The total of the advance payments you receive will be shown on your current year Form W–2.

The current year Form W–5 expires on December 31, 2008. If you expect to be able to claim the credit in advance for the following year, you must give a new completed Form W–5 which is valid for that year to your employer.

For more information about the Advance EIC see IRS Publication 596, Earned Income Credit. This publication (available in both English and Spanish) and Form W-5 can be downloaded from or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).