How the EITC improves economic security for Maryland families
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is the largest and most effective anti-poverty tool for Maryland residents, helping more than 400,000 Marylanders make ends meet and putting millions of dollars into local communities.
It allows low-to- moderate-income taxpayers to get back a little more at tax time to essentially offset some of the income, sales, and other taxes they pay throughout the year. This often means people receive a larger tax refund because of the EITC, giving families cash to use on whatever they need, from making large payments like car repairs or medical bills to helping with day-to-day expenses like food and rent.
Research shows the EITC supports:
In addition, money invested in the EITC goes right back into the local economy as recipients spend it on basic necessities such as groceries, housing, transportation, and debt. For every dollar the state spends on the EITC, it generates an estimated $1.24 in economic activity.
How the 2021 expansions helped working Marylanders
While the EITC is incredibly effective for those who receive it, prior to the changes in 2021 the credit excluded immigrant taxpayers who file taxes using an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN). It also provided little assistance to workers not claiming dependent children on their taxes, which has meant these workers with very low incomes are essentially taxed further into poverty.
The 2021 expansions made more than 100,000 people newly eligible for the state EITC. The expansions also significantly increased the value of the credit for all recipients, more than 400,000 altogether. The General Assembly made these changes permanent in 2023.
It's time to make the EITC work for everyone
With rising costs for everyday essentials like food, gas, and rent, Marylanders need this support more than ever. However, our state EITC continues to leave behind
young workers and other vulnerable groups
who don’t claim dependent children on their
taxes but are struggling to get by on very low
incomes. Expanding eligibility for these groups
would allow more low-income Marylanders to get
up to $600 back at tax time, benefiting families and
communities across the state.
Right now, someone working full-time at
minimum wage in Maryland earns too much to
qualify for the EITC even though their income
alone is often not enough to meet their basic
needs. This holds back:
- Young adults just getting started in the
- Youth aging out of foster care
- Non-custodial parents and others who may be helping care for children
- Older adults who are still in the workforce but no longer have dependent children
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