Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Earned Income Tax Credit ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Earned Income Tax Credit
Category: Business and Money > Accounting
Asked by: globalad-ga
List Price: $75.00
Posted: 12 Oct 2004 03:03 PDT
Expires: 11 Nov 2004 02:03 PST
Question ID: 413572
How many American families qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit?
How many American families that qualify, do not claim it?
I need most recent statistics from IRS or some other government source.
I am also looking for up to date information for the USA (not just FL)
similar to this old press release from Congressman Jim Davis.
Subject: Re: Earned Income Tax Credit
Answered By: taxmama-ga on 21 Oct 2004 17:13 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Dear Global Ad

According to IRS statistics for Tax Year 2002 (scroll down the page),,id=102886,00.html   :

Earned Income Tax Credit (TY 2002) [3]:
Number of returns with credit (millions)   21.7 
Amount claimed (billions of $) $38.2 

You'll find another set of numbers here - for IRS's fiscal year 2003,
issued in March of 2004

Earned income tax credit:	

    Number of returns with credit (millions)	21.3                    
    Amount claimed (billion dollars)	        36.9                    
        Number issued (millions)	        18.0                    
        Amount (billion dollars) [3]	        32.0                    

There are no published statistics about how many taxpayers
that are entitled to the EIC don't take it. However, let's
look at Individual tax returns filed in 2002 to see who might
possibly qualify   :

Form 1040A with TPI under $25,000 [7,8]	35,631,532  
All other returns by size of TPI: [8]	
            Under $25,000	        18,123,219  

You can see there are over 53 million taxpayers who are
apt to qualify, based on low income, especially if they had children. 
Only those who are married, or head of household qualify.
(There is a small EIC for single people, but it's insignificant.)

In 2002 the following numbers of returns were filed by
those with a qualified filing status (70 million):

Married, joint -        51,529,487 
Head of Household -     19,220,247 

I think this is the best indicator, though:

There were a total of 25,975,097 returns that took a Child Tax Credit
(i.e. families with children that might possibly qualify for the EIC) - scroll down to Tax Credits

And 21.3 million taxpayers used the EIC. 

So, based on the population of returns with children, 
there probably weren't many more than 4 or 5 million 
who might have been eligible, who did not use the Earned Income Credit.

Note: The child tax credits are available to families with 
incomes much higher than those who qualify for the EIC.
See the income thresholds at which the child tax credits are phased out:

Married Filing Jointly: $110,000
Married Filing Separately: $55,000
Other Filling Status: $75,000 

While the Earned Income earnings limits are:

 ? $33,178 if you have two or more children ($4,140 max. credit)
 ? $29,201 if you have one child ($2,506 max. credit)
 ? $11,060 if you have no children ($376 max. credit)

So, it's likely that the number of those who did not claim
the credit is much lower than the 4 or 5 million.

In addition, families with low taxable incomes will also lose
their EIC rights if part of their low income derives from
investments. So that will further reduce the potential 
population of those eligible.

One thing that NONE of the IRS statistics show is the number
of people who don't file tax returns at all, who are eligible
for the EIC. And I don't know how to find those number for you.

I hope this helps?

Best wishes

Your TaxMama-ga

Request for Answer Clarification by globalad-ga on 22 Oct 2004 01:27 PDT
Dear TaxMama:

I think that you did a great job. Is it possible for you to post these
conclusions somewhere on the web site so that I can point
to this page as an independent source of information approximately how
much EITC money goes unclaimed.



Clarification of Answer by taxmama-ga on 22 Oct 2004 05:10 PDT
Dear Global Ad

Sure, I'd be happy to do that. 
But do you realize that you can point directly to the answer here?

I don't think I've ever seen the editors remove an answer,
unless there was a problem with the question in the first place.

Best wishes

Your TaxMama-ga
globalad-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Thanks for doing a great job.

There are no comments at this time.

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy