EITC Tax Credit Helps Working Families

A working family making less than $54,884 in 2018, may qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). 

The EITC is a federal and state income tax credit that is refunded to qualified taxpayers after their taxes have been paid. Even if you don't have to pay any taxes on your income, you may still qualify for a refund. EITC is based on the amount of your earned income, is set up on a sliding scale and is claimed by filing a federal income tax return. Learn more about the EITC online or call the IRS at 800.829.1040. 

Use the EITC Assistant for assistance with finding out if you are eligible for EITC, determine if your child or children meet the tests for a qualifying child, and estimate the amount of your credit. The EITC assistant is also available in Spanish

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Income Guidelines

EITC Income Eligibility Guidelines for Tax Year 2018

Household Size

Annual income

Families with three or more qualifying children If you earn less than $49,194 ($54,884 if married and filing jointly) you could get a refund of $6,431.
Families with two qualifying children If you earn less than $45,802 ($51,492 if married and filing jointly) you could get a refund of $5,716.
Families with one qualifying child If you earn less than $40,320 ($46,010 if married filing jointly) you could get a refund of $3,461.
Families or an individual with no qualifying children If you earn less than $15,270 ($20,950 if married and filing jointly) you could get a refund of $519. (You must be between the ages of 25 and 64 to qualify.)
The maximum amount of investment income you can have in 2018
and still be eligible for this credit is $3,500.

State Credit may also be Available

If you are eligible for the federal EITC you may also qualify for a similar credit from the state of NJ. The federal and state tax benefit is for low-to-moderate income individuals and families. It is a tax credit that may reduce the amount of taxes you owe, or provide you with a refund, even if you don't owe any taxes. 

If you were eligible for EITC, but did not know it, you can still claim the EITC for up to three years prior to the current tax year.

The EITC has no effect on certain welfare benefits. In most cases, EITC payments will not be used to determine eligibility for Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), food stamps, low-income housing or most Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) payments.

How to Apply - To get the NJ state EITC, you must file a federal tax form, be eligible for the federal EITC and file a state income tax return (if you are married but file separately, you may not claim the NJ EITC). 

Find out more information about the NJ state EITC credit

If you Need Help Filing

Free assistance in the preparation of federal and state Income tax returns is available for taxpayers at local VITA sites (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance). Here, individuals of low-to-moderate income, individuals with disabilities, and non-English speaking taxpayers can find direct assistance in filing their returns. Find a VITA site near you (Our listing of tax assistance sites is active from January 1 - April 15 of each year.)

AARP Foundation sites will assist tax filers of all ages and income levels. As long as you are filing the simple tax form, you are eligible for free assistance.  Access a complete listing of AARP Foundation sites, or call 888.687.2277 (TTY: 877.434.7598) to be directed to a site.

VITA sites and AARP Foundation sites are staffed by volunteers who are trained to prepare both federal and state returns. Many of these sites prepare tax returns on computers and utilize electronic filing. Electronic filing, or e-filing, is quick and accurate and provides taxpayers with a much quicker refund.

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