Tax Credits for Working Families: Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

By Rochelle Finzel, Qiana Torres Flores and Caitlin Rossiter
Updated March 2012

An earned income tax credit (EITC) is designed to help low- to moderate-income, working people get ahead. The federal tax credit was enacted in 1975 and made permanent in 1978. Twenty-five states and the District of Columbia also have earned income tax credits. This report describes the federal and state earned income tax credits, answers common questions about them, and provides examples of how to help working people find and use free tax preparation services.

In This Report:

  • What Is the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit?
  • What Is a State Earned Income Tax Credit?
  • Arguments For Earned Income Tax Credits
  • Arguments Against Earned Income Tax Credits
  • Refund Anticipation Loans
  • Outreach: Providing Information about Free Earned Income Tax Credit Services
  • Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Resources

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