Podcast: Earned Income Tax Credits

By Meagan Dorsch and Qiana Flores
March 2012

The federal earned income tax credit is designed to help low-to moderate-income, working people get ahead. These tax credits may provide incentives to work and the tools to build their financial assets and savings.

Twenty-five states and the District of Columbia have their own EITC laws to offer additional benefits. The average credit was $2,240 in 2010, yet around 20 percent of eligible people do not claim their credit during tax season.

From 2011 to 2012, seven state legislatures passed EITC-related laws, although one was vetoed by the governor. Two states, Michigan and Wisconsin, decreased the credit amount, one state increased the credit amount, one state created an EITC, and three others focused on outreach efforts. Only two bills regarding EITC were enacted in 2012.

Listen to EITC Podcast

In this edition of the Buzz at State Legislature (5:34), Qiana Flores of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Working Families Partnership talks about public and private initiatives to educate people about the availability of EITCs. Some initiatives offer information hotlines or informing employees, sponsor media outreach efforts or organize free tax preparation sites. Qiana discusses ways legislators can get the word out to their constituents. This podcast is made possible by support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.