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Federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)


The Federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a national policy - all decisions regarding eligibility and benefit levels are made at the national level and are uniform across the states. [More detail and national data...]

Federal decisions are italicized.

Eligibility Criteria

Income eligibility criteria

Income limit for 1-parent family with 2 qualifying children1$40,295/year (2009)
Income limit for 2-parent family with 2 qualifying children2$45,295/year (2009)

Qualifying child criteria

Qualifying child criteria3Under 19 yrs (< 24 if student); live with claimant for at least half year (2009)

Immigrant eligibility criteria

Federal restrictions on lawful permanent residents' (LPRs) access to benefits4None (2005)

Benefits

Benefit level

Refundable credit available3Yes (2009)
Max benefit for family with 2 qualifying children5$5,028/year (2009)

Participants

Number of recipients

Number of recipients (tax filers)6490,418 tax filers (2005)

Spending

Total spending

Total spending (federal)7$1,063.9 million (2005)

Data Notes and Sources

Data on the Federal EITC were compiled by NCCP in June 2009.

  1. The limit for 1-parent family with 1 qualifying child is $35,463 per year; the limit for 1-parent family with 3 or more qualifying children is $43,279 per year.
    Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, EITC Thresholds and Tax Law Updates, http://www.irs.gov (accessed June 23, 2009).
  2. The limit for 2-parent family with 1 qualifying child is $40,463 per year; the limit for 2-parent family with 3 or more qualifying children is $48,279 per year.
    Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, EITC Thresholds and Tax Law Updates, http://www.irs.gov (accessed June 23, 2009).
  3. Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, EITC Thresholds and Tax Law Updates, http://www.irs.gov (accessed June 23, 2009).
  4. National Immigration Law Center, Guide to Immigrant Eligibility for Federal Programs, Fourth Edition, 2002; with updates from Update Page, http://www.nilc.org (accessed October 28, 2005).
  5. The maximum benefit for a family with 1 qualifying child is $3,043 per year; the maximum benefit for a family with 3 or more qualifying children is $5,657 per year.
    Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, EITC Thresholds and Tax Law Updates, http://www.irs.gov (accessed June 23, 2009).
  6. Figure includes claimants with and without qualifying children (data are preliminary); nationally, about 82% of claimants were tax filers with qualifying children (based on 2001 data).
    Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, The 2007 Earned Income Tax Credit Outreach Kit, http://www.cbpp.org (accessed June 14, 2007).
  7. Figure includes spending on claimants with and without qualifying children (data are preliminary); nationally, about 98% of spending is for tax filers with qualifying children (based on 2001 data).
    Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, The 2007 Earned Income Tax Credit Outreach Kit, http://www.cbpp.org (accessed June 14, 2007).