Income Tax Credit

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a refundable tax credit from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that helps boost the incomes of low-wage, working families. One of the nation’s most effective anti-poverty tools, the federal EITC lifts more than 6.5 million families out of poverty each year. In 2012, more than 345,000 Colorado taxpayers received $737 million in EITC refunds.

The EITC helps close the gap between a family’s earnings and what they need to make ends meet. It operates by reducing the amount of taxes owed and increasing the chances of receiving a refund.

Research shows that lifting a struggling family’s income helps children do better in school, which leads to increased educational attainment and higher earnings in adulthood. In addition, an increased family income results in improved child wellness because healthy habits–like eating more produce and visiting the dentist–become more affordable.

Depending on their income and number of children, single or married people between the ages of 25 and 64 who worked full-time or part-time at some point in 2014 can qualify for the EITC.

Find out if you are eligible for the EITC.

Family Size Family Income Maximum Refund
One child
$38,511 (single)
$43,941 (married)

Two children $43,756 (single)
$49,186 (married) $5,460
Three or more children $46,997 (single)
$52,427 (married) $6,143
No children $14,590 (single)
$20,020 (married) $496
Under new state legislation, low- to moderate-income workers can claim a Colorado state EITC starting as early as 2016. Colorado’s state EITC will be worth 10 percent of the federal EITC, providing low-wage earners with an even larger refund at tax time. Based on current economic projections, the state EITC is expected to become available during the 2016 tax season.