The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is an important tax benefit for working families as it seeks to put more of what the family earned during the year back into their hands. In an effort to keep poverty levels low and help encourage families to continue working regardless of their wages, New York state is one of twenty-five others (and the District of Columbia) that have enacted state versions of the federal credit.
Following the same eligibility requirements, New York's EITC is structured similarly to the federal credit. A taxpayer in the state who qualified to receive the federal credit will also likely qualify for the state version as well, so it's important to check at tax time.
New York's EITC is offered at 30% of the federal credit and is fully refundable. The EITC can be used to reduce the amount of state income tax that a family owes, and any portion exceeding the tax liability is issued as a refund. For families without a tax bill, the whole amount of the credit can be returned to them by way of a refund. Working families can then use the EITC to offset other state or local taxes that they may owe, thereby taking a little stress out of tax time when every dollar matters.