Is Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Right for You?

| February 21, 2013

EITC PICIndividual Tax Credits

EITC – Can this Tax Credit Help You?

It is tax season. Are you eligible for the state Earned Income Tax Credit?

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is tax relief that helps working families. For example, a single mother with one child, earning minimum wage ($12,800 a year), will save $154 on her state income taxes for 2012 ($205 in 2013). A married couple with three children earning $30,000 a year will save $199 on their 2012 state income taxes ($265 in 2013). A married couple with three children earning just more than $50,000 could be eligible for up to $5,891 in state and federal tax relief.

The potential tax credits were increased following successful legislation signed into law last year. For more information about how much money taxpayers could save, visit

The EITC also is available for some federal tax returns.

The Illinois EITC credit began in 2000. Last year’s legislation boosted the state EITC from 5 percent of the federal EITC in 2011 to 7.5 percent in 2012. In 2013, it has risen to 10 percent of federal EITC. Almost 2.5 million Illinois residents benefited from the EITC in 2011.

The EITC is considered uniquely pro-growth and pro-family. The EITC is an incentive to work because it only is available to those who have earned an income.

The EITC is not automatic. Individuals must apply for it. The not-for-profit Center for Economic Progress (CEP) estimates that between 10 and 20 percent of eligible taxpayers did not file for EITC last year.

To assist individuals to apply for EITC, including those who currently or had been receiving unemployment insurance benefits, the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) works with the Center for Economic Tax Counseling Project to provide free tax preparation. The service is free to families making less than $50,000 annually and to individuals with annual incomes less than $25,000.

For more information about the Illinois EITC, please visit If you would like to locate an IRS VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Program tax site, please visit or call 1-800-906-9887 or 1-800-829-4059.

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