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Other Public Benefits

Tax Credits
Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

Extra $$$ is Just a Tax Form Away!

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a refundable federal, New York State, and New York City tax credit for individuals who work full or part time. Even if you worked part time, only part of the year, or are unemployed now, you may be eligible. But you must file a state and federal tax return in order to get this refund. You will receive a refund for any amount which exceeds your tax liability. Even if your income was too small to have paid income taxes, you may still qualify for EITC. 

Who Qualifies for the EITC?
Single or married people who worked full-time or part-time at some point in 2012 can qualify for the EITC, depending on their income:
  • If you were raising one child in your home and had family income of less than $36,920 (or $42,130 for married workers)
  • If you were raising two children in your home and had family income of less than $41,952 (or $47,162 for married workers);
  • If you were raising three or more children in your home and had family income of less than $45,060 (or $50,270 for married workers);
  • If you were not raising children in your home, were between ages 25 and 64 on December 31, 2012, and had income below $13,980 (or $19,190 or married workers).

Who are “Qualifying Children”?

  • Sons, daughters, stepchildren, grandchildren and adopted children
  • Brothers, sisters, half brothers, half sisters, stepbrothers, or stepsisters - as well as descendants of such relatives such as a niece or nephew - if they were cared for as members of the family
  • Foster children who are placed with the worker by an authorized government or private placement agency
"Qualifying children" must live with you for more than half of the year. They must be under age 19, or under age 24 if they are full-time students. Totally and permanently disabled children of any age also may be qualifying children. All qualifying children born before December 31, 2012 must have valid Social Security numbers.

EITC Benefits
Earned Income Tax Credit
Maximum Income Levels and Credit Amounts
Tax Year 2012
Maximum City Credit
Maximum State Credit
Maximum Federal Credit
Maximum Combined Credit
Maximum Income
Families with three or more qualifying children $295 $1,767 $5,891 $7.953 $45,060($50,270 MFJ)*
Families with two qualifying children $262 $1,571 $5,236 $7,069 $41,952($47,162MFJ)*
Families with one qualifying child $158 $951 $3,169 $4,278 $36,920($42,130 MFJ)*
Individuals with no qualifying children $24 $143 $475 $642 $13,980($19,190 MFJ)*
*MFJ-Married filing jointly

How to Claim the EITC

Important Questions Regarding the EITC
In most cases, the EITC does not count as income in determining eligibility for benefits like cash assistance ("welfare"), Medicaid, food stamps, SSI, or public housing. Some benefit programs count the EITC against resource tests in certain circumstances. For example, there is a resource test for Medicaid, as a result, if your EITC refund will put your resources over the allowable limit, the refund must be spent by the end of the month after the month in which it is received or the amount saved may be counted as part of your available resources.

Can immigrant workers get the EITC?
Many legal immigrants can qualify for the EITC, as long as you meet the eligibility requirements and all workers and children listed on the family's Schedule EIC each have valid Social Security numbers that permit them to work legally in the United States.

What if I was eligible for the EITC in past years but didn't claim it?
You can file for the EITC for the last three years. For tax year 2012, you can still file for 2011, 2010 and 2009. For example, if you were eligible for the EITC in 2009 but did not claim it, you can fill out a Form 1040X,"Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return," and attach it to a copy of your 2009 tax return you filed that year. If you are claiming a child, you must also fill out and attach Schedule EIC for 2009. For copies of prior-year federal forms, call 1-800-TAX-FORM. You may also file an amended New York State Return and get the state EITC you were entitled to for the tax years for which you filed an amended federal return.

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