Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

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.

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 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 spouses 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 between 2016 and 2018, the Massachusetts credit is limited to 23% of the federal credit. For taxable years starting after January 1, 2019, the Massachusetts credit is limited to 30% of the federal credit.

IRS Table for the tax year 2018 for Single and Head of Household:

Maximum Federal Adjusted Gross Income

Number of Qualifying Children

Maximum Federal EITC

MA Rate

Maximum MA Credit Allowed

$ 15,270

0

$519

23%

$ 119

$ 40,320

1

$ 3,461

23%

$ 796

$ 45,802

2

$ 5,716

23%

$ 1,315

$ 49,194

3 or more

$ 6,413

23%

$ 1,479

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 2018 for Married Filing Jointly:

Maximum Federal Adjusted Gross Income

Number of Qualifying Children

Maximum Federal EITC

MA Rate

Maximum MA Credit Allowed

$ 20,950

0

$ 519

23%

$ 119

$ 46,010

1

$ 3,461

23%

$ 796

$ 51,492

2

$ 5,716

23%

$ 1,315

$ 54,884

3 or more

$ 6,431

23%

$ 1,479

    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 differently.

    The amount of the Massachusetts EITC is limited to 23% (30% for taxable years after 1/1/19) 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.

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