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Don’t Miss Out on Your Chance to Claim Thousands of Dollars in Valuable Tax Credits

Earned income tax credits can add up to $8,427 for a family with three children. As many as 430,000 eligible New Yorkers may be missing out on this benefit.

January 29, 2016 – The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance and the New York State Office of Temporary Disability Assistance (OTDA) remind New York taxpayers to check their eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

The EITC can reduce the amount of taxes owed or provide a substantial tax refund. However, based on IRS estimates, each year more than 430,000 eligible New Yorkers—including nearly 250,000 in New York City alone—may fail to claim the credit. (See chart below for county-by-county estimates.)

EITCs are refundable federal, New York State, and New York City credits for working taxpayers earning up to the $53,267 maximum. To qualify, taxpayers must meet certain requirements and file a tax return, even if they don’t owe any tax or aren’t required to file.

“The New York State EITC is one of the most generous state income tax credits in the nation,” said Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Jerry Boone. “Last year we paid New York taxpayers more than $1 billion, the highest ever paid in a year. It’s cash that counts—cash that eligible New Yorkers have earned.”

“EITC benefits can make a tremendous difference in the lives of eligible working New Yorkers,” said Sam Roberts, Commissioner of the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. “These are dollars that can help low-income taxpayers make ends meet, and in turn benefit local economies. We encourage all working New Yorkers to make sure they claim the credit if they’re eligible.”

In tax year 2013, the latest year for which federal data is available, more than 1.75 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 billion. The average benefit was more than $3,000 per household.

Are you eligible?

Every year, thousands of New Yorkers qualify for the EITC for the first time as their filing status or personal financial situation changes.

The income limit varies based on number of children. The maximum for the 2015 tax year is $53,267 for a family with three children.

To qualify for the credit, in addition to meeting the income qualifications, taxpayers must:

  • 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 $3,350.

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.

How much is the credit worth?

The maximum credits increase annually and vary based on factors including family income and number of children. For tax year 2015, the maximum of the combined federal, state and New York City credits is $8,427 (for a family with three children) – a $134 increase over tax year 2014.

Taxpayers 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.

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 2013, almost more than 7,200 taxpayers claimed the Noncustodial Parent EITC for a total of $3.6 million.

For more information

Earned Income Tax Credit eligibility, county-by-county eligibility based on IRS estimates
County Number of taxpayers receiving EITC benefits Total federal/NYS/NYC combined benefit Estimated average combined benefit Number of eligible taxpayers not receiving EITC*
Albany 21,302 $56,738,765 $2,714 5,326
Allegany 3,726 $10,414,078 $2,822 932
Bronx 233,941 $791,378,769 $3,520 58,485
Broome 15,763 $44,133,954 $2,820 3,941
Cattaraugus 6,984 $19,832,797 $2,883 1,746
Cayuga 6,218 $17,113,370 $2,793 1,555
Chautauqua 11,639 $33,636,235 $2,926 2,910
Chemung 7,637 $21,731,903 $2,891 1,909
Chenango 4,189 $11,687,450 $2,815 1,047
Clinton 5,937 $15,172,495 $2,588 1,484
Columbia 4,374 $11,184,677 $2,596 1,094
Cortland 3,706 $10,269,767 $2,796 927
Delaware 3,652 $9,886,458 $2,743 913
Dutchess 15,641 $40,718,377 $2,648 3,910
Erie 68,646 $192,883,034 $2,855 17,162
Essex 2,804 $7,195,203 $2,604 701
Franklin 4,099 $11,681,752 $2,880 1,025
Fulton 5,163 $14,682,168 $2,892 1,291
Genesee 4,223 $11,082,103 $2,658 1,056
Greene 3,347 $8,673,403 $2,625 837
Hamilton 357 $872,739 $2,460 89
Herkimer 5,300 $14,878,159 $2,860 1,325
Jefferson 12,175 $35,120,010 $3,089 3,044
Kings 324,181 $1,036,499,345 $3,263 81,045
Lewis 2,319 $6,385,994 $2,838 580
Livingston 4,082 $10,629,675 $2,634 1,021
Madison 5,091 $14,075,064 $2,814 1,273
Monroe 58,701 $168,864,277 $2,925 14,675
Montgomery 4,635 $13,523,354 $2,915 1,159
Nassau 71,941 $195,191,731 $2,764 17,985
New York 130,124 $358,767,534 $2,788 32,531
Niagara 16,675 $44,385,353 $2,704 4,169
Oneida 19,618 $58,793,273 $3,036 4,905
Onondaga 36,993 $106,647,646 $2,932 9,248
Ontario 7,362 $19,381,337 $2,676 1,841
Orange 25,296 $79,511,944 $3,185 6,324
Orleans 3,275 $9,336,962 $2,881 819
Oswego 10,186 $28,113,561 $2,792 2,547
Otsego 4,271 $11,205,068 $2,650 1,068
Putnam 3,545 $7,735,693 $2,209 886
Queens 269,682 $764,520,273 $2,904 67,421
Rensselaer 11,075 $30,204,463 $2,773 2,769
Richmond 32,243 $94,553,195 $3,010 8,061
Rockland 20,343 $71,867,000 $3,587 5,086
St. Lawrence 8,508 $24,346,403 $2,901 2,127
Saratoga 11,553 $28,392,034 $2,492 2,888
Schenectady 12,088 $35,238,965 $2,922 3,022
Schoharie 2,294 $5,938,100 $2,623 574
Schuyler 1,490 $3,849,660 $2,642 373
Seneca 2,656 $7,136,495 $2,729 664
Steuben 8,155 $22,497,609 $2,795 2,039
Suffolk 90,487 $248,236,530 $2,805 22,622
Sullivan 6,323 $18,749,985 $3,003 1,581
Tioga 4,046 $11,165,587 $2,815 1,012
Tompkins 5,413 $12,948,624 $2,436 1,353
Ulster 12,323 $31,158,644 $2,564 3,081
Warren 5,306 $13,454,809 $2,575 1,327
Washington 5,086 $13,815,043 $2,761 1,272
Wayne 7,206 $19,889,315 $2,791 1,802
Westchester 55,153 $155,315,814 $2,886 13,788
Wyoming 2,672 $7,012,353 $2,657 668
Yates 1,776 $4,801,581 $2,720 444
Statewide 1,754,996 $5,185,107,959 $3,068 438,749

*based on IRS estimates

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