The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is an important tax benefit for working families with low income. Though under-utilized, this credit seeks to reduce poverty and has been proven effective in doing so by putting more of the taxpayer's money back into their hands. The state of Vermont has enacted their own version of the credit, directly modeled after the federal version.
Since Vermont's EITC follows the same eligibility rules, a taxpayer who was able to claim the federal credit can also claim the state credit. Vermont's EITC is completely refundable, and offered at 32% of the federal credit. This is great news for working families with state income tax liability, as the credit can offset any amount owed. After the tax is paid, the excess credit amount is returned to the taxpayer through a refund, meaning a family who owes zero tax can receive the whole credit amount via a refund.
The EITC seeks to encourage families to keep working, regardless of the low wage amount, as it offers relief at tax time. The credit can be used to cover other state or local taxes which may come as a burden to low-income families, therefore taking some of the pressure off during tax season.