Earned Income Tax Credits

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Massachusetts Law Reform Institute

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a way for low-income working people to get money back from the federal government. Even if you didn't earn enough to owe income tax, you can get the EITC! To get it, you need to file a federal tax return and send it to the IRS.

Massachusetts also has an Earned Income Credit (EIC), to help low-income working people get money back from the state government. To get the credit, you need to file a state tax return and send it to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue.

You may be able to get money back from both the federal and state governments by filing your taxes and claiming these credits.

Visit FindYourFunds.org to learn more! FindYourFunds is a website from community organizations and legal services in Massachusetts. 

How much money can I get?

Visit https://www.findyourfunds.org/  to learn more. 

To get a higher credit because a child lived with me, how young does the child have to be?

Generally, the child has to be under 19 years old at the end of the year,

but a full-time student counts if they are under 24 years old at the end of the year.

also, children who are permanently and totally disabled count no matter what age they are -- even if they are adults.

What if I am not a U.S. citizen? Can I still get these credits?

If you qualify for the credits but you are not a U.S. citizen, you can still get these credits if you are a lawful permanent resident. You might be able to get these credits if you are married to a U.S. citizen or to a lawful permanent resident.

How long will it take to get the money?

You may get the money as soon as 7-10 days after you file.

Will the money count against my public benefits, like welfare or SNAP/Food Stamps?

No. It will not count as income against DTA cash benefits, SNAP food benefits, SSI, Medicaid, or public housing. But some benefits programs may have rules about how long you can keep it in your bank account without spending it. See Tax Refunds and Benefits.

Can I get free help filing my taxes and getting the money for these credits?

Yes! Visit https://www.findyourfunds.org/ to learn more. 

What if I file my tax return late?

You should be able to get the credits even if you file late, but in some cases you may have to pay a penalty for filing late.  If you can not file your tax return by the deadline, talk to a tax preparer to find out what to do. You can talk to one for free at a free tax clinic near you.


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