Financial Stability
Earned Income Tax Credit Participation

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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. The number of filers receiving the credit is one measure of the number of working poor people in a region, though not everyone who would qualify for the credit claims it. The infusion of cash to eligible households is also believed to help spur economic activity, prompting local efforts to ensure eligible families claim the credit to avoid leaving "cash on the table" that could benefit the whole community.

How is the region performing?

In 2020, 12% of tax filers in the Mid-Hudson Valley received the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), the same as statewide (excluding NYC) and less than 16% nationally. Within the region, the rate was highest in Sullivan County, at 16%, and lowest in Putnam, at 7%. The rates for each county, the state (excluding NYC) and nation have remained relatively unchanged 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 between 80 and 85 percent of those who are eligible for the credit claim it.

Earned Income Tax Credit Participation
Columbia County15%15%15%15%15%15%14%13%13%12%
Dutchess County11%11%12%12%12%12%11%11%11%10%
Greene County16%16%16%17%16%16%15%15%14%12%
Orange County14%15%15%15%15%15%15%14%14%13%
Putnam County7%8%8%8%8%8%8%8%7%7%
Sullivan County20%21%20%21%21%20%20%19%19%16%
Ulster County15%15%15%15%15%15%14%14%13%12%
NYS (excluding NYC)14%14%15%15%15%14%14%13%13%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
Columbia County4,5564,5404,6204,5604,5704,3604,1604,0704,0203,820
Dutchess County15,69615,86016,62016,89016,63016,37016,13015,59015,53014,980
Greene County3,6073,5603,6203,6403,5703,4803,4203,3203,3103,080
Orange County25,06125,46026,75027,38027,64027,30026,82026,39026,61025,300
Putnam County3,5993,6903,9603,8703,8303,8603,8703,8103,7703,770
Sullivan County6,9177,0706,7906,9606,9606,7606,6906,5606,6506,260
Ulster County12,87413,03013,17013,26013,28012,83012,66012,02011,99011,380
NYS (excluding NYC)774,829781,170806,940805,060794,690775,400758,050737,770737,570695,390

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