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Federal EIC
State EITC Programs
  Glossary of Terms

State Earned Income Tax Credits (EITCs)



NOTE: Glossary words appear in blue. Click on any glossary word to see its definition.

Which states have state-level Earned Income Tax Credits?

More than half of the states offer state-level earned income tax credits (EITCs) for their residents. If you live in a state that has its own state EITC program and you are eligible for the federal EITC, you may claim your state's EITC by filing a state income tax return.

The states (including D.C.) that have state-level EITCs for the 2012 tax year are shown in the table below. The table also shows the state EITC amount as a percentage of the federal EITC, and whether or not the state EITC is refundable.

State

% of
Federal
EITC
Refund-
able?

Connecticut

30% Yes

Delaware

20% No

D.C.

40% Yes

Illinois

4% Yes

Indiana

6% Yes

Iowa

7% Yes

Kansas

18% Yes

Louisiana

3.5% Yes

Maine

5% No

Maryland

25%* Yes

Massachusetts

15% Yes

Michigan

6% Yes

Minnesota

25%-45% Yes
 

State

% of
Federal
EITC
Refund-
able?

Nebraska

10% Yes

New Jersey

20% Yes

New Mexico

10% Yes

New York

up to 30% Yes

N. Carolina

5% Yes

Oklahoma

5% Yes

Oregon

6% Yes

Rhode Island

up to 25% Partially

Vermont

32% Yes

Virginia

20% No

Washington

10%
(pending)
Yes

Wisconsin

4%-34%** Yes
* Maryland also offers a nonrefundable 50% EITC 
**Wisconsin percentages are 4% for 1 child; 11% for 2; 34% for 3+ children
 
[source: States and Local Governments with Earned Income Tax Credit from the IRS]

For more information about state EITCs, see:

Note: States may add, drop, or change the rules regarding their state EITC programs in future tax years.


Am I eligible for my state EITC?

In most cases, you are eligible for your state EITC if:

  • you are a resident of the state
  • and you are eligible for the federal EITC and file a federal tax return to claim the credit

You must file a state income tax return to claim your state earned income tax credit.


If my state does not have its own EITC, can I still get the federal EITC?

Yes, you can still get the federal EITC if your state does not offer a state EITC.

The state EITC programs are in addition to the United States government's federal Earned Income Tax Credit. If your state does not offer its own EITC, this does not affect your eligibility for the federal EITC. Think of the state EITC as an additional bonus, which some workers receive because they live in a state that offers this tax credit to its residents.


How are state EITCs calculated?

In most cases, state EITCs are a fixed percentage of the federal EITC amounts. The percentages vary from one state to another, for example, 3.5% in Louisiana, 15% in Massachusetts, and 40% in the District of Columbia.

Example: Let's say you claim a federal EITC of $1000 on your federal tax return, and your state offers a refundable EITC equal to 15% of the federal EITC. Then you can also claim a state EITC of $150 (.15 x $1000 = $150) on your state income tax return. Your total EITC would be $1150  ($1000 federal + $150 state = $1150).


Are state EITCs refundable?

Most states with EITC programs offer a refundable credit. With a refundable credit, if the amount of the state earned income tax credit is greater than what you owe in state income taxes, the state will pay you the difference in the form of a refund.

Rhode Island offers a partially refundable credit. With a partially refundable credit, the state will pay you the difference between the tax credit and your tax liability, but only up to a certain amount.

Only three states with EITC programs, Delaware, Maine, and Virginia, have non-refundable EITCs. With a non-refundable tax credit, the amount of the credit is limited to the amount you owe in taxes.


Where can I get state tax forms?

You can find links to state income tax information for all states on the Federation of Tax Administrators web site:

Click on your state on the map or on the list of states to view your state's income tax information. Please note:

  • You must file your state tax return on or about April 15th, just like the federal tax return
  • You can usually pick up state tax forms wherever federal tax forms are available (e.g., post offices, libraries)
  • You can usually get help filling out your state tax return at VITA/TCE tax assistance sites
  • You should complete your federal income tax return before filling out your state tax return
  • Most state EITCs are refundable, meaning you will get a refund from the state if your tax credit is more than what you owe in taxes


Useful links

These links are external links to web sites that are not part of TaxCreditResources.org. When you click on these links, you will leave our site. Click "Back" on your browser to return.

  1. State EITC Reports, Fact Sheets, & Policy Materials by State
    Current information and news about state earned income tax credits, listed by state. Includes States with EITCs table and a Fifty State Resource Map. From Tax Credits for Working Families, managed by the Hatcher Group, a public policy firm that helps nonprofits advocate for social change.

  2. Policy Basics: State Earned Income Tax Credits
    Detailed information about state earned income tax credits, including which states offer the credit, percentage amounts, and whether the credits are refundable. From the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

  3. National Center for Children in Poverty
    Detailed information about federal and state policies that affect the welfare of children and families. Includes 50 State Policy Wizard.

 

 
 
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