Central New York Residents Eligible for Billions in Earned Income Tax Credits

The maximum combined earned income tax credit is $8,463 in tax year 2016

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance and the New York State Office of Temporary Disability Assistance (OTDA) today reminded New York taxpayers to check their eligibility for the earned income tax credit (EITC). EITC Awareness Day is today, January 27.

The EITC can reduce the amount of taxes owed or provide a substantial tax refund, potentially worth several thousand dollars for lower-income workers.

EITCs are refundable federal, New York State, and New York City credits for working taxpayers. For tax year 2016, the maximum total of federal, state, and New York City EITCs is $8,463 (for a family with three children). Income requirements shown in chart below:

Number of Children Maximum Income
(Single or Head of Household) 
Maximum Income
(Married Filing Jointly) 
Maximum Combined Credits*
(2015 tax year)
3+ $47,955 $53,505 $8,463
2 $44,648 $50,198 $7,522
1 $39,296 $44,846 $4,554
0 $14,880 $20,430 $683

*Based on a combined total of New York City, New York State, and federal credits.

In tax year 2014, the latest year for which federal data is available, more than 64,000 taxpayers in Central NY claimed nearly $182,000,000 in EITCs.

View regional EITC data, based on IRS estimates, here.

“This is extra cash for hardworking New Yorkers and their families to purchase groceries, clothes and other necessities,” said New York State Acting Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Nonie Manion. “This is one of the most generous tax credits and we want each eligible taxpayer to take advantage of it.”

“The EITC is the most effective tool we have in helping people move out of poverty,” said New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Samuel D. Roberts. “Making sure that working families and individuals receive this credit, and others that they might be entitled to, can mean thousands of dollars to supplement a household’s budget.”

In tax year 2014, more than 1.85 million New Yorkers received the federal EITC. When the federal, New York State and New York City benefits were combined, the benefit to working families and individuals was more than $5.44 billion with an average benefit of more than $2,900 per household.

Check eligibility each year

Don’t miss out. Every year, thousands of New Yorkers qualify for the EITC for the first time as their filing status or personal financial situation changes.

In addition to the specific income requirements, taxpayers must meet other criteria, such as:

• earn wages from employment or self-employment;
• have a valid Social Security number;
• have a qualifying child living with them for more than half the year, or, if they don’t have a qualifying child, be at least 25 years of age and under age 65; and
• have investment income of less than $3,400.

Taxpayers must also file a tax return, even if they don’t owe any tax or aren’t otherwise required to file. Those eligible who prepare their returns electronically will be automatically prompted to claim this credit and others. Those who were eligible in previous years but didn’t claim the credit may still be able to submit an amended income tax return for up to three years.

The Tax Department also reminded those ineligible for EITC benefits to look for other possible tax credits that they might be eligible to claim, such as the child and dependent care credit.

Noncustodial Parent Earned Income Tax Credit

New York was the first state in the nation to enact a Noncustodial Parent EITC in 2006. The refundable credit adds to the many ways that New York encourages low-income noncustodial parents to work and stay current with their child-support payments.

In 2014, more than 8,000 taxpayers claimed the Noncustodial Parent EITC for a total of almost $4 million.

For more information

• Federal Earned Income Tax Credit
• New York State Earned Income Tax Credit
• Recordkeeping suggestions for self-employed
• Contact a NYS Tax Department representative at (518) 457-5181