Financial Self-Sufficiency
Earned Income Tax Credit Participation


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 2016, 14% of Essex County residents who filed taxes received the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The rate has remained steady since 2011 and is higher than the state rate of 12% but below the national rate of 18%.

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 of 12% and Middlesex, MA had a rate of 8% in 2016. The rates for Essex County and each comparison county have changed little 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.

Earned Income Tax Credit Participation
201120122013201420152016
Essex County, MA14%14%15%14%14%14%
Middlesex County, MA9%9%9%9%9%8%
Lake County, IL12%12%12%12%12%12%
Westchester County, NY12%12%12%12%12%12%
Massachusetts13%13%13%13%12%12%

Source: Internal Revenue Service
Notes: Figures represent EITC participation out of all tax filers. Filers must claim the credit. These data do not show the number of people eligible for the credit.




Number of Earned Income Tax Credit Filings
201120122013201420152016
Essex County, MA53,25554,21056,03056,18055,65054,290
Middlesex County, MA68,31468,79070,82070,35068,64065,580
Lake County, IL41,72841,39042,19041,86041,65040,550
Westchester County, NY55,54056,35060,20059,18058,36056,590
Massachusetts408,723413,040426,890427,300421,540408,450

Source: Internal Revenue Service
Notes: Filers must claim the credit. These data do not show the number of people eligible for the credit.




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