icon_economic2016 marks the 10th anniversary of Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Awareness Day!  If you work and earn under $54,000, you may be eligible for the federal EITC when you file your tax return this year.  Make the EITC work for you and don’t forget to claim the tax credit if you qualify.

What is the federal EITC?

The EITC is an important federal tax credit providing a financial benefit for working individuals and families. To claim the EITC, you must meet certain qualifications and file a return even if you have no other filing requirements or do not owe any taxes.

Am I eligible for the federal EITC?

If you did not qualify last year, you may still be eligible this year. The following chart shows the income limits to claim the EITC for 2015:

Filing Status Qualifying Children Claimed
Zero One Two Three or more
Single, Head of Household or Surviving Spouse $14,820 $39,131 $44,454 $47,747
Married Filing Jointly $20,330 $44,651 $49,974 $53,267


How much is the tax credit?

The EITC credit is refundable and ranges from:

  • $11 to $6,242 with three or more qualifying children
  • $10 to $5,548 with two qualifying children
  • $9 to $3,359 with one qualifying child
  • $2 to $503 with no qualifying children


Why is the federal EITC important?

The EITC has been studied and found to be an effective anti-poverty measure which reduces individual or family reliance on other government supports. The total amount claimed by Kentucky families in 2014 was about $966 million, which means nearly $1 billion was reinvested into local economies across the state. About 439,000 children are impacted by the EITC, which has shown to improve their health, educational attainment, and financial stability.

Does Kentucky have a state-level EITC?

While Kentucky does offer a Low-Income Family Size Tax Credit, it does not offer the EITC. If Kentucky were to enact a state-level EITC, the impact for hardworking individuals and families would be compounded with the federal EITC and further promote increased health, educational attainment, and financial stability throughout the state.

Learn more about the benefits of a state-level EITC here. Review the Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children solution here.