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Health and Human Services
  Department of Transitional Assistance

What is the EITC, and how can it help me?

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is for people who work and meet certain income guidelines. You may get money back when you file your taxes and keep more of what you earned. It can make a big difference!

Learn more details and file for your tax credits at a free tax assistance site near you. There are about 300 sites in Massachusetts open during tax season. You may even get credits for the last two years.

How much money can I get back?

Your EITC check depends mainly on your family size and your 2016 earned income.

If your family has And you earned less than Then you can get up to
No “qualifying children” $14,880 $506
One qualifying child $39,296 $3,373
Two qualifying children $44,648 $5,572
Three or more qualifying children $47,955 $6,269

Qualifying and credit amounts above are based on Single and Head of Household filers.

Note: TAFDC, alimony, and child support payments are not earned income and do not count towards the income limits.

A “qualifying child” can be your...

  • Biological or adopted child
  • Stepchild
  • Foster child or a descendant of any of them, such as your grandchild
  • Brother, half-brother, sister or half-sister
  • Stepbrother or stepsister or a descendant of any of them, such as a niece or nephew

At the end of 2016,

A "qualifying child" must be younger than you; not have filed a joint return other than to claim a refund; and be under 19, unless they are a full-time student under 24, or any age and permanently and totally disabled.

How do I know if I qualify for EITC?
  • You must have worked and earned income
  • You must have a valid Social Security number
  • You cannot be counted as a "child" by someone else

There are more rules about age, citizenship, and non-earned/foreign income. A free tax preparer can explain these rules; or visit www.irs.gov/eitc for more information.

What if I don’t owe any tax?

No problem. You can still get the tax credits.

Will the EITC affect my benefits?

In Massachusetts, getting the federal EITC and the state EIC tax credit will not affect your eligibility for TAFDC, SNAP, Medicaid, SSI, or low-income housing. (EITC and EIC do not count as income in determining eligibility for these benefits.)

Some families can get a child tax credit (CTC) too!

Your family may qualify for the CTC, which may reduce your tax by as much as $1000 for each qualifying child.

Extra state benefit

When you qualify for the federal EITC, you automatically qualify for a Massachusetts tax credit (EIC) that will give you an extra 23% of your EITC check. $3,373 turns into $4,149!

I’m convinced. Where can I file?

You can go to a free tax assistance site. These sites have trained volunteers who will check your eligibility and then help you fill out your tax forms. To find a free tax site near you:

Read IRS information on the EITC

FACT: Millions of people who could claim the EITC don't—leaving billions of dollars behind. Don't lose out!