2019 Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Information

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a refundable tax credit for families and individuals who have income from employment. It increases the amount refunded to a taxpayer or reduces the amount of tax owed. For 2018, 576,000 filers in New Jersey were able to be credited $1.4billion with an average tax refund of $2,360. However, almost 25% of eligible New Jersey taxpayers never file for EITC. You must file a tax return to claim your EITC.

Twenty-nine states, including New Jersey, maintain their own EITC program. New Jersey taxpayers may receive a credit equal to 39% of their federal credit. It is based on their employment earnings, filing status, number of children and adjusted gross income (AGI).

Income Limits and Maximum EITC Credits

Number of Qualifying Children Single/Head of Household or Widow(er), Income Must be Less Than Married Filing Jointly, Income Must be Less Than Maximum Federal Credit Maximum NJ State Credit
No Child $15,570 $21,370 $529 $206
One Child $41,094 $46,884 $3,526 $1,375
Two Children $46,703 $52,493 $5,828 $2,273
Three or More Children $50,162 $55,952 $6,557 $2,557

The EITC Assistant is an online tool to estimate if an individual or family may qualify by answering a number of questions. The IRS also publishes a one page fact sheet, IRS Notice 797 and a more detailed booklet, IRS Publication 596.

Free assistance to prepare and file your federal income tax return is available from a number of organizations and programs. The United Way and H&R Block partner to offer MyFreeTaxes. All income levels are eligible to file both federal and state returns for free using MyFreeTaxes.com. Also available is Free File another free, easy to use online software program. Taxpayers whose adjusted gross income is $69,000 and below are eligible. The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program offers free tax preparation to low and moderate-income taxpayers, especially age 50 and older.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to people who generally make $56,000 or less, persons with disabilities and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals. In addition to VITA, the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program offers free tax help for all taxpayers, particularly those who are 60 years of age and older. Most VITA and TCE sites are open February to April.

The IRS provides a Find a Location for Free Tax Help page. The NJ 2-1-1 Partnership maintains a NJ Free Tax Assistance Locations page. South Jersey residents in Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May and Cumberland Counties, as well as residents in Philadelphia and Montgomery County, can get tax preparation help from the non-profit Campaign for Working Families.

Non-profits, advocacy groups and government agencies can participate in outreach efforts by promoting the NJEITC page and their NJEITC Informational Flyer. Groups interested in conducting an outreach campaign or promoting EITC on social media should subscribe to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ Get It Back Campaign.

Employers are encouraged to distribute copies of “Have You Told Your Employees About the Earned Income Credit (EIC)?”, available as Notice 1015 by the IRS. The New Jersey Division of Taxation publishes a Statement to Employees.

Smartphone users can download IRS2Go, the official IRS mobile app. You can use it to check your tax refund status or find free tax prepartion services, or even to send a payment to Uncle Sam.

EITC Awareness Day – January 25, 2013

EITC Awareness Day is a one-day blitz for mainstream and social media to reach the broadest possible range of potentially eligible taxpayers. In 2012, 26.5 million low and moderate income households received $60.7 billion under the Earned Income Tax Credit. If you worked and had income under $50,270 find out if your are eligible for EITC.

There are a number of contact points to determine if you qualify. They include calling the Internal Revenue Service at 1-800-829-1040 or the New Jersey Division of Taxation at 888-895-9179. In New Jersey you can call the 2-1-1 Partnership by dialing 2-1-1 or 877-652-1148 to get free help filing your taxes.

Free help in preparing your tax return – you can claim EITC even if you had nothing withheld from your paycheck – is available through the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide or at Volunteers in Tax Assistance (VITA) sites throughout New Jersey and nationwide. The 2-1-1 Partnership maintains a list of VITA and AARP Tax Assistance Sites in New Jersey.

Also, a number of organizations in and near New Jersey promote EITC and provide free tax preparation service to qualifying individuals and families. They are:
Mercer County CASH Campaign
Newark Now
New Jersey Citizen Action
Our neighbors in Philadelphia can also contact either Ceiba or Campaign for Working Families.

Nonprofit organizations that wish to become actively involved in promoting EITC should contact either the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities or the National Community Tax Coalition.

Additional details and web links are available on New Jersey Community Resources website on the Earned Income Tax Credit page.

To claim your EITC tax credit you must file a tax return.