Are you eligible for an earned income tax credit?
The tax claim could help taxpayers get an even bigger return, but according to the Illinois Department of Revenue, many Illinois residents aren't using it.
The federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and its Illinois counterpart, the Illinois Earned Income Credit (EIC) could bring bigger returns for eligible filers in the state. But you'll need to claim it on your tax return in order to get it.
The Illinois Department of Revenue issued a reminder to residents that the credits "are powerful tools that reward low- and moderate-income taxpayers for their hard work, yet thousands of eligible taxpayers fail to claim this refundable credit on their taxes."
“I encourage taxpayers to check their eligibility for the state EIC and federal EITC,” David Harris, director for the Illinois Department of Revenue, said in a statement. “The earned income credit puts thousands of dollars in the pockets of hard-working families every year. Even if an individual does not owe any tax, they may be eligible. That’s money that can be used for groceries, rent, utilities and other bills.”
The refundable credit is worth up to 18% of federal claims, for those who are eligible.
Still, in 2020, more than 13,000 Illinoisans claimed the federal credit, but failed to claim the state's version. According to the IDOR, $7 million was left unclaimed last year alone.
To be eligible, taxpayers have to meet income and residency qualifications and file a tax return, even if they don't owe taxes or are not required to file. Illinois residents must be eligible for federal earned income tax credit in order to receive the state credit.
According to the IDOR, the earned income tax credit can mean up to a $6,660 refund when a taxpayer files a return with qualifying children. Workers without a qualifying child could be eligible for a smaller credit up to $538. According to the Internal Revenue Service, the average amount credited for 2020 was $2,461.