Income Tax Credit for Low Income Families

The Administration for Children and Families, in partnership with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), encourages eligible taxpayers to file for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Last year, over 27 million people received nearly $63 billion in EITC for the 2012 tax year.  In ACF’s Region III area (ACF-R3), which includes Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia, more than two million people filed EITC claims.  Together, people in these States received almost five billion dollars in EITC.  


What is the Earned Income Tax Credit?

Keep in mind the IRS estimates that 21 percent of taxpayers do not claim the credit they deserve.  The EITC is a refundable federal income tax credit for low-income working individuals and families.  It has no effect on certain welfare benefits. In most cases, EITC payments will not be used to determine eligibility for Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), food stamps, low-income housing or most Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) payments.


2013 EITC Claims in ACF Region III Area

Below is a breakdown of how many people in the ACF-R3 area submitted EITC claims, how much money they got and the average amount of money by State.  For more information, go to the IRS’ EITC website,




Number of EITC Claims

Total EITC Amount

Average EITC Amount





District of Columbia
















West Virginia





How do I qualify?

To qualify, you must meet certain requirements and file a tax return. 


Some people do not earn enough money to be obligated to file a tax return.  For example, for 2013 taxes, a single parent with three or more children does not have to file taxes if they make $46,227 or less.  Below is a list of the 2013 tax return threshold amounts.  But keep in mind, even if you do not have to file taxes, you may want to so that you can get EITC money back. 


2013 Tax Return Threshold Amounts

  • $46,227 ($51,567 married filing jointly) with three or more qualifying children
  • $43,038 ($48,378 married filing jointly) with two qualifying children
  • $37,870 ($43,210 married filing jointly) with one qualifying child
  • $14,340 ($19,680 married filing jointly) with no qualifying children


If you decide to file taxes and claim EITC, it is important to know how much money you might get back.  Someone with three or more children could get $6,044 back in EITC.  Below is the maximum EITC for the 2013 tax year:


2013 Maximum EITC Amounts

  • $6,044 with three or more qualifying children
  • $5,372 with two qualifying children
  • $3,250 with one qualifying child
  • $487 with no qualifying children


Where can I get more information?

Visit the EITC homepage for more information, including outreach materials and State statistics.  If you need help filing your taxes, visit a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) center in your neighborhood.  The VITA program offers free tax help to people who generally make $52,000 or less, persons with disabilities, the elderly and persons with limited English.  VITA centers are usually located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls, and other convenient locations.