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Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

Learn about Massachusetts Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and see if you qualify. The tax year 2020 EITC credit amounts are listed for if you file single, head of household, or married filing jointly. Federal, Part-year Resident and Nonresident EITC information is also included.

Updated: February 10, 2021

Table of Contents

Overview and Eligibility

The EITC is a credit for working people with low or moderate-income. The EITC may reduce your tax bill and give you a refund. Find out if you qualify.

The Massachusetts EITC is available to certain individuals or families who meet the tax requirements for the federal EITC.

Please note: Under the federal COVID-related Tax Relief Act of 2020, taxpayers can use their 2019 earned income to calculate their 2020 EITC if their 2019 earned income was more than their 2020 earned income. Massachusetts will allow this alternate calculation. For 2020, the MA EITC is 30% of the federal EITC whether the taxpayer used 2019 or 2020 income to calculate it. Electronic filing is the fastest way to get your refund and filers using their 2019 earned income amounts are still eligible to file electronically. 

To claim the Massachusetts EITC, you must file a tax return and be a Massachusetts resident for at least part of the taxable year. You can find nearby free help at a VITA site or through AARP Tax-Aide.
 

You may be eligible for the Massachusetts EITC if:
 
  • You had a qualifying child during the taxable year, or
  • You did not have a qualifying child during the taxable year and you meet the following criteria
    • You lived in the United States for more than one-half of the taxable year;
    • You or your spouse had attained age 25 but had not attained age 65 before the close of the taxable year; and.
    • You were not a dependent of another taxpayer during the tax year.
       
To be eligible for the EITC, you must also meet the following additional criteria:
 
  • You, your spouse and any qualifying child have a valid Social Security Number;
  • You have earned income;
  • Your adjusted gross income is within certain limits;
  • Your filing status is either:
    • Single, head of household, or married filing a joint return; or
    • Married filing separate and you are the victim of domestic abuse. See Form1 Instructions to line 43.
       
You are not eligible for the Massachusetts EITC if:
 
  • You did not file a Massachusetts return for the tax year.
  • You were a nonresident for the entire taxable year.
  • Your status is married filing separately (however, if you are a victim of domestic abuse living apart from your spouse and unable to file a joint return, you may still be eligible. See Form 1 instructions, line 43 for more information on how to file under this exception); or.
  • You and/or your spouse had investment income that exceeds the limit for the taxable year.

For Single and Head of Household

To find the maximum Massachusetts EITC allowed for Single and Head of Household, check the IRS Table below. The Massachusetts EITC is based on the federal EITC. For taxable years starting on or after January 1, 2019, the Massachusetts credit is equal to 30% of the federal credit.

IRS Table for the tax year 2020 for Single and Head of Household:

Maximum Federal Adjusted Gross Income
Number of Qualifying Children
Maximum Federal EITC
MA Rate
Maximum MA Credit Allowed

$ 15,820

0

$538

30%

$ 161

$ 41,756

1

$ 3,584

30%

$ 1,075

$ 47,440

2

$ 5,920

30%

$ 1,776

$ 50,594

3 or more

$ 6,660

30%

$ 1,998

For Married Filing Jointly

To find the maximum Massachusetts EITC allowed for married filing jointly, check the IRS Table below. The Massachusetts EITC is based on the federal EITC.

IRS Table for the tax year 2020 for Married Filing Jointly:

Maximum Federal Adjusted Gross Income
Number of Qualifying Children
Maximum Federal EITC
MA Rate
Maximum MA Credit Allowed

$ 21,710

0

$ 538

30%

$ 161

$ 47,646

1

$ 3,584

30%

$ 1,075

$ 53,330

2

$ 5,920

30%

$ 1,776

$ 56,844

3 or more

$ 6,660

30%

$ 1,998

    Federal EITC

    If the IRS is computing your federal EITC, you should wait until the IRS gives you the credit amount before claiming the EITC on your Massachusetts return.

    If you haven’t received the federal EITC by the deadline for filing your Massachusetts return, an automatic 6-month extension will be granted as long as at least 80% of the total amount of tax due has been paid on or before the due date. If you expect a refund, you are automatically approved for a 6-month extension.

    You can file an amended return if:

    • The IRS computed your EITC, but you didn’t take the credit for your original Massachusetts return.
    • The IRS adjusted your federal EITC, and you need to change the EITC amount on your Massachusetts return.

    When filing an amended return, use Form 1: Massachusetts Resident Income Tax Return or Form 1-NR/PY: Massachusetts Nonresident or Part-Year Resident Income Tax Return. Be sure to fill in the Amended Return oval on your Massachusetts return.

    For Part-year Residents

    For part-year residents, the Massachusetts EITC is calculated differently.

    The amount of the Massachusetts EITC is limited to  30% of the federal EITC multiplied by the total number of days you resided in Massachusetts divided by 365 days.

    For Nonresidents

    Taxpayers who are nonresidents for the entire taxable year are not eligible for the Massachusetts EITC after the tax year 2016.

    Contact

    Phone

    Tax Department (617) 887-6367
    Toll-free in Massachusetts (800) 392-6089

    9 a.m.–4 p.m., Monday through Friday

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