A working family making less than $57,414 in 2021, 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 to see 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 available in Spanish and several other languages.
The EITC has no effect on certain welfare benefits. In most cases, EITC payments will not be counted as income when you apply for Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), food stamps, low-income housing or most Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) payments. If you save your EITC refund, it will not count against the resource/asset limits of these federally-funded programs for 12 months after the refund is received.
If believe you were eligible for EITC in previous years, you can still claim the EITC for up to three years prior to the current tax year. Check your eligibility for previous years.
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|EITC Income Eligibility Guidelines for Tax Year 2021|
|Families with three or more qualifying children||If you earn less than $51,464 ($57,414 if married and filing jointly) you could get a refund of $6,728.|
|Families with two qualifying children||If you earn less than $47,915 ($53,865 if married and filing jointly) you could get a refund of $5,980.|
|Families with one qualifying child||If you earn less than $42,158 ($48,108 if married filing jointly) you could get a refund of $3,618.|
|Families or an individual with no qualifying children||If you earn less than $21,430 ($27,380 if married and filing jointly) you could get a refund of $1,502.|
The maximum amount of investment income you can have in 2021 and still be eligible for this credit is $10,000.
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.
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 (including the refunds you may be eligible for) by reading more 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. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, you must have an appointment to receive assistance at a VITA site this year. No walk-ins are permitted. Find a VITA site near you. (We started updating our listing of tax assistance sites on January 1 and will continue to add listings as we learn of them.)
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.