Earned Income Tax Credit Participation
What does this measure?
The proportion of people filing taxes who receive the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
Why is this important?
The tax credit helps low-income individuals and families by reducing the taxes they pay or in some cases providing refunds. When the credit exceeds the amount of taxes owed, qualified filers receive a federal refund, bringing Federal resources to the community. Not everyone who qualities for the credit claims it.
How is our county doing?
In 2013, 15% of Essex County residents who filed taxes received the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The rate has remained steady since 2011 and was a bit higher than the state rate of 13% but below the national rate of 20%.
How do we compare to similar counties?
Essex County had the highest rate of residents who received the credit. Lake, IL and Westchester, NY each had a rate 13% and Middlesex, MA had a rate of 9% in 2013. The rates for Essex County and each comparison county have not changed since 2011.
Notes about the data
People must claim the credit to receive it; therefore, these numbers do not reflect the number of people eligible for the credit. The IRS and other experts estimate that 80-85% of those who are eligible for the credit claim it. Data for Essex County, MA, Middlesex, MA and Lake, IL was not available prior to 2011.