EITC Tax Credit Helps Working Families

Learn about the EITC Tax Credit

A working family making less than $53,930 in 2017, may qualify for 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. 

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EITC Income Eligibility Guidelines for Tax Year 2017

Household Size

Annual income

Families with three or more qualifying children If you earn less than $48,340 ($53,930 if married and filing jointly) you could get a refund of $6,318.
Families with two qualifying children If you earn less than $45,007 ($50,597 if married and filing jointly) you could get a refund of $5,616.
Families with one qualifying child If you earn less than $39,617 ($45,207 if married filing jointly) you could get a refund of $3,400.
Families or an individual with no qualifying children If you earn less than $15,010 ($20,600 if married and filing jointly) you could get a refund of $510. (You must be between the ages of 25 and 64 to qualify.)
The maximum amount of investment income you can have in 2017 
and still be eligible for this credit is $3,450.

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.

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 affect 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 receive federal or state tax credits you must file federal and state tax return, even if you are not required to file a return because your income is below the minimum filing threshold.

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.

Become a VITA Volunteer.


Page last modified/reviewed on January 10, 2018

If you know of additional resources that would be appropriate to include in this section, please let us know by contacting us via e-mail at info@nj211.org

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