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Earned Income Tax Credit Initiative

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a refundable tax credit for working people with low to moderate income. The EITC lifts more families above the poverty level each year than any other federal program.

To determine whether you are eligible for the EITC, use the IRS’s online EITC Assistant.

Louisiana’s State EITC
Louisiana is the first southern state to establish an Earned Income Tax Credit. The state EITC took effect in Tax Year 2008, and Louisiana filers can claim the credit when they file their 2009 state income tax return. All filers who are eligible to claim the federal EITC are automatically eligible for the state EITC. The state credit amount is 3.5% of the federal credit.

Qualifying for eITC and tax credit amounts To qualify for the EITC for Tax Year 2009 (2010 filing season) you must be a single or married person who worked full-time or part-time at some point during the year and have income of less than:

  • $43,279 for single filers ($48,279 for married joint filers) with three or more qualifying children
  • $40,295 for single filers ($45,295 for married joint filers) with two qualifying children..
  • $35,463 for single filers ($40,463 for married joint filers) with one qualifying child.
  • $13,440 for single filers ($18,440 for married joint filers) with no qualifying child.

Additional requirements:

  • You must file a Federal income tax return and attach Schedule EIC
  • You must have a valid Social Security Number.
  • Your investment income for the year cannot be more than $3,100.
  • Your filing status cannot be "Married Filing Separately."

The maximum amount of EITC filers could receive for Tax Year 2008 is:

  • $5,627 with three or more children
  • $5,028 with two qualifying children.
  • $3,043 with one qualifying child.
  • $457 with no qualifying children.

Which children qualify?

  • Sons, daughters, stepchildren, grandchildren and adopted children.
  • Brothers, sisters, stepbrothers and stepsisters, as well as descendants of such relatives if they were cared for as members of the family.
  • Foster children who are placed with the worker by an authorized government private placement agency.
Qualifying children must live with the worker for more than half of the year. They must be under age 19 or under age 24 if they are full-time students. Totally and permanently disabled children of any age also may qualify.
Does the EITC affect eligibility for other public benefits?The EITC does not count as income in determining eligibility for benefits like cash assistance (welfare), Medicaid, food stamps, SSI, or public or subsidized housing.
Can immigrant workers claim EITC? As long as they meet eligibility requirements, legal immigrants can qualify for EITC.
Can a worker eligible for EITC in past years who didn’t claim it still get their refund for those years?
Yes. Workers can claim the EITC for the most recent tax year and up to three prior years. For example, in the 2010 filing season (Tax Year 2009), a worker who was eligible for EITC in Tax Years 2006, 2007, and 2008, but did not claim it, can complete an Amended Tax Return (IRS Form 1040X) for those years and send it to the IRS along
with copies of the returns filed originally. Talk with your VITA tax preparer for more information on filing amended returns.
Other helpful tax information

Did you know?

  • EITC-eligible workers raising one or more children can receive EITC in their paycheck throughout the year as opposed to receiving their EITC in one lump sum when they file their taxes the following year. This is the Advance Earned Income Credit.
  • In most cases the EITC does not affect public benefits such as cash assistance.
  • In addition to using a VITA service, low- to moderate-income filers can also file their tax return free of charge by using IRS Free File. To use this free service, go to and select the "Free File" link on the left-hand side of the page.
  • You can file your Louisiana taxes online.
  • If you have questions about your federal income tax, call the IRS toll-freehelp line at 1-800-TAX-1040 (1-800-829-1040).

PartnerSLouisiana EITC Outreach Initiative partners: