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CT Earned Income Tax Credit

What is the CT EITC?

The Connecticut Earned Income Tax Credit (or CT EITC) is a refundable state income tax credit for low to moderate income working individuals and families. The state credit mirrors the federal Earned Income Tax Credit.

The U.S. Congress originally approved the federal tax credit legislation in 1975 in part to offset the burden of social security taxes and to provide an incentive to work. The Connecticut General Assembly approved the CT EITC during the 2011 legislative session.

When both the federal and CT EITC amounts exceed the amount of taxes owed, it results in a tax refund to those who claim and qualify for the credit.

To qualify for the CT EITC, you must be eligible for the federal EITC. You must have earned income from employment, self-employment or another source and meet certain rules. In addition, you must either meet the additional rules for Filers Without a Qualifying Child or have a child that meets all the Qualifying Child Rules.

Do I qualify?

To qualify for the Connecticut Earned Income Tax Credit or EITC, you must have earned income from employment, self-employment or another source and meet the rules listed below.

  1. You, (your spouse if filing Jointly) and all qualifying children must have a valid Social Security Number prior to the due date of the return. 
  2. You must have earned income from employment, self-employment, or another source of earned income.
  3. Certain taxpayers who filed Married Filing Jointly on their federal income tax return, may be required to file married filing separate for CT only.
  4. Be a full-year resident of the State of Connecticut.
  5. Cannot be the qualifying child of another person*
  6. Your Adjusted Gross Income and earned income must meet the limits shown below.
  7. Your investment income must meet or be less than $11,000.

If you are married and file a joint return with your spouse, your spouse must also meet the EITC rules for everyone.

If you meet the EITC rules for everyone, you must also meet the rules for either Filers Without a Qualifying Child or have a child that meets the Qualifying Child Rules.

Qualifying Child Rules

To be considered a qualifying child for EITC, such child must have a valid Social Security Number that is valid for employment and must meet the four requirements below:

  • Relationship
    • Your son, daughter, adopted child1, stepchild, foster child2 or a descendent of any of them such as your grandchild.
    • Brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant of any of them such as a niece or nephew.
  • Age at the end of the filing year, your child was:
    • Younger than you (or your spouse if married filing jointly) and
      • younger than 19, or
      • younger than 24 and a full-time student
    • Any age if permanently and totally disabled3
  • Residency
    • Child must live with you (or your spouse if you file a joint return) in the United States4 for more than half of the year.
  • Joint Return
    • The child cannot file a joint return for the year, unless the child and the child's spouse did not have a filing requirement and filed only to claim a refund.

Note: A qualifying child cannot be used by more than one person. Please reference the tie-breaker rules found in IRS Publication 596.

1Adopted Child. An adopted child is always treated as your own child. It also includes a child lawfully placed with you for adoption.

2Foster Child.  For EITC, a child is your foster child if the child is placed with you by an authorized placement agency or by judgment, decree, or other order of any court of competent jurisdiction. (An authorized placement agency includes a state or local government agency or an Indian tribal government. It also includes a tax-exempt organization licensed by a state or an Indian tribal government.)

3Permanently and totally disabled.  Your child is permanently and totally disabled if both of the following apply:  1). The child cannot engage in any substantial gainful activity because of a physical or mental condition and 2). A doctor determines the condition has lasted or can be expected to last at least a year or lead to death.

4United States. This means the 50 states and the District of Columbia. It does not include Puerto Rico or U.S. possessions such as Guam.

Filers Without a Qualifying Child

  • Meets all the basic qualifying rules under Do I Qualify?
  • You (or your spouse if filing jointly) must be at least age 25 but under age 65 at the end of the tax year.
  • If you file Married Filing Separately on your federal return, you and your spouse must have been separated for more than six months or legally separated under state law. You must have a written Separation Agreement or a Decree of Separate Maintenance, and you did not live together at the end of the taxable year.
  • Cannot be the Qualifying Child of another person.

Special EITC Rules

There are special EITC rules for members of the military, ministers, members of the clergy, those receiving disability benefits and those impacted by disasters. Information about special rules is available on the Internal Revenue Service’s website

What is Earned Income?

Earned income includes all the taxable income and wages you get from working or from certain disability payments.

Taxable earned income includes:

  • Wages, salaries, and tips;
  • Union strike benefits;
  • Long-term disability benefits received prior to minimum retirement age;
  • Net earnings from self-employment.

Nontaxable Combat Pay election. You can elect to have your nontaxable combat pay included in earned income for EITC. The amount of your nontaxable combat pay should be shown on your Form W-2, in box 12, with code Q. Electing to include nontaxable combat pay in earned income may increase or decrease your EITC.

Examples of Income that is Not Considered Earned:

  • Interest and dividends
  • Pensions
  • Social security
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Alimony
  • Child support.

Eligible Earned Income Amounts

Federal and State EITC Threshold Amounts for 2023

In order to qualify for the federal and state Earned Income Tax Credit, filers must have eligible earned income and must meet the criteria outlined below:

Earned Income and adjusted gross income (AGI) must each be less than:

  • $56, 838 ($63,698 married filing jointly) with 3 or more qualifying children
  • $52,918 ($59,478 married filing jointly) with 2 qualifying children
  • $46,560 ($53,120 married filing jointly) with 1 qualifying child
  • $17,640 ($24,210 married filing jointly) with no qualifying children

Investment Income Limitation: You cannot claim the CT EITC if your investment income is more than $11,000.

The maximum EITC for 2023:

# of children
Max Federal EITC
Max State EITC @40% of Federal
3 or more $7,430 $2,972
2 $6,604 $2,642
1 $3,995 $1,598
None $600 $240

Earned Income Tax Credit Self-Employed Questionnaires

Complete this form if you are self-employed and have received a request for additional information from the Department. Download and complete the Questionnaire below and return it to the Department as directed.

Type Description Revised
Form CT-EITC SEQ Form 2023 Earned Income Tax Credit Self-Employed Questionnaire 12/2023

For more information on how to maintain your record for Self-Employment, see IP 2015(20), Connecticut Earned Income Tax Credit Recording Requirement for Self-employed Persons.

The CT Earned Income Tax Credit: You Earned It, So Don't Let Anyone Steal It!

The Department of Revenue Services (DRS) wants to protect taxpayers from individuals who will use a variety of methods to steal your refund. Take these precautions before filing your CT-EITC, Connecticut Earned Income Tax Credit:

Protect social security numbers and other identity information to prevent claims being made without your knowledge. 

Be wary of preparers who offer to prepare your Schedule CT-EITC for a high fee or percentage of your refund.

Check the preparer’s qualifications. New regulations require all paid tax return preparers to apply for a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) before preparing any federal tax returns.

Make sure you will be able to contact the tax preparer after the return has been filed, even after the April due date, in case questions arise.

Most reputable preparers will request to see your records and receipts and will ask you multiple questions to determine your total income and your qualifications for expenses, deductions, and other items.

Review your tax return before signing it and ask questions about anything you don’t understand.

Never sign a blank return.

Make sure the preparer signs the form and includes their PTIN

How to Complete Schedule CT-EITC

For more information on how to complete Schedule CT-EITC, Connecticut Earned Income Tax Credit, follow the instructions starting on Page 16 in the Connecticut Resident Income Tax Return Instructions.

Other EITC Assistance

The following organizations can help you find free filing for your state and federal income tax returns and your earned income tax credit forms. They may also be able to provide assistance with financial planning and management, as well as offer other community services.