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Reynolds Jackson, Wimberly & Burzichelli Bill to Expand Earned Income Tax Credit Program Clears Assembly Panel

Legislation to Make Program Available to Qualifying Residents 21 to 65 Years of Age

 Expanding the state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to enable more residents to take advantage of it next tax season, legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Verlina Reynolds-Jackson (D-Mercer, Hunterdon), Benjie Wimberly (D-Bergen, Passaic), and John Burzichelli (D-Gloucester, Cumberland, Salem) cleared the Assembly Appropriations Committee on Tuesday.

The EITC is a federal and state tax benefit for individuals and families who earn low-to-moderate incomes in NJ. It is a tax credit that may reduce the amount of taxes you owe, or provide you with a refund, even if you don’t owe any taxes.

The sponsors of the bill issued the following statement:

“The Earned Income Tax Credit is one of the nation’s most important antipoverty programs. In 2018, the EITC benefitted over 22 million working families and individuals, lifting about 5.6 million people over the poverty line, including about 3 million children.

“Expanding EITC eligibility will provide direct, tangible tax relief to thousands more low-income working residents and their families in New Jersey.”

The bill (A-838) would allow a taxpayer who is between 21 and 65 years old to claim the New Jersey earned income tax credit (NJ EITC) based on a percentage of the federal earned income tax credit. The bill would also expand the age restrictions for taxpayers who cannot claim a qualifying child from at least 25 to 21 years old.

Currently, a New Jersey taxpayer can claim the New Jersey Earned Income Tax Credit if he/she:

  1. is eligible for the federal earned income tax credit;
  2. has a qualifying child or is at least 25 years old and under 65; and
  3. meets the income limit for their filing status.

The bill will now go to the Assembly Speaker for further consideration.