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EITC Tax Credit Helps Working Families

person doing their taxes

A working family making less than $56,838 ($63,398 if married and filling jointly) in 2023 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 those who don't have to pay any taxes on their income may still qualify for a refund. EITC is based on a person's 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 determine eligibility for the EITC. The EITC will 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 you 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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Income Guidelines

EITC Income Eligibility Guidelines for Tax Year 2023

Household Size

Annual income

Families with three or more qualifying childrenIf you earn less than $56,838 ($63,398 if married and filing jointly) you could get a refund of $7,430.
Families with two qualifying childrenIf you earn less than $52,918 ($59,478 if married and filing jointly) you could get a refund of $6,604.
Families with one qualifying childIf you earn less than $46,560 ($53,120 if married filing jointly) you could get a refund of $3,995.
Families or an individual with no qualifying childrenIf you earn less than $17,640 ($24,210 if married and filing jointly) you could get a refund of $600. 

The maximum amount of investment income you can have in 2023 and still be eligible for this credit is $11,000.

Determine if your child qualifies. 

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 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 your federal and state income taxes (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 federal and state tax preparation assistance 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. (We started updating our listing of tax assistance sites in January and will continue to add listings as we learn of them.)

AARP Foundation sites 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 local site.

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

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