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 2020, 11% of Essex County residents who filed taxes received the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The rate has increased from 14% in 2011 and is slightly higher than the state rate of 10% but below the national rate of 16%.
How do we compare to similar counties?
Essex County and Lake, IL had the highest rates of residents who received the credit both at 11%. Westchester, NY has a rate of 10% and Middlesex, MA had a rate of 7% in 2020. The rates for 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.