Earned Income Tax Credit


What is the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)?

Since 1975, the EITC has helped working individuals and families get more money back on their taxes. Not only has it help improved the quality of life for individuals and their families, but it has helped raise the quality of life for the surrounding community.

Last year taxpayers across the nation received more than $65 Billion just from the EITC. In New York nearly 1.7 million taxpayers received an average of $2,366 from the EITC. Each year millions of individuals qualify for the EITC for the first time. Find out if you are one of them.

Research suggests that only 80% of taxpayers eligible for the EITC claim it. That means 20% of taxpayers are not receiving the full amount they are entitled to. Do not miss out on your chance to get back what you have earned.

Who is Eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)?

Anyone who files tax returns as Married Filing Jointly, Single, or Head of Household. You may qualify for the EITC if you earned income in 2016. Not only may you be eligible for the EITC from the IRS, but you may also qualify for the EITC from New York State as well.

There are household income limits on eligibility. If you made too much money in 2016 for your household size, you may not be eligible for an EITC refund.

How much do I get back with the EITC?

The amount you may get back generally depends upon the number of people in your household and how much income was earned in 2016. Below is a chart that shows the maximum earned income and adjusted income for each filing status to be eligible for the EITC.

Earned Income and Adjusted Gross income (AGI) must each be less than:

Filing Status Number of Qualifying Children Claimed
  -0- -1- -2- -3 (or more)-
Single, Head of Household, or Widowed $14,880 $39,296 $44,648 $47,955
Married Filing Joint $20,430 $44,846 $50,198 $53,505

How do I get the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)?

You have to file a Federal and New York State income tax return.

If you qualify for the EITC you may also be eligible for additional tax credits such as the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) that could lead to larger refund.

Can I get help filing for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)?

Yes, you can get FREE assistance with filing your tax returns, through the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Program. These volunteers are certified by the IRS and their service is free.

What if the IRS or NY State rejects or audits my return regarding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)?

The IRS and NY State may require that you prove that you are eligible for the EITC.   The Legal Aid Society of Northeastern NY can advise you on what documents are required to prove your EITC eligibility and may be able to represent you in the audit or an appeal.

How to get help:

To find out if we can help, call Legal Aid Society of Northeastern NY at 518-462-6765 or 1-800-462-2922. If you qualify for our services, your case will be referred to our Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic office. Although the Clinic receives funding from the IRS, the clinic, its employees and volunteers are not affiliated with the IRS and a taxpayer’s decision to utilize services from LITC will not affect his or her rights before the IRS. The Low Income Taxpayer Clinic does not generally provide income tax preparation.