Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey

  • The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a critical tool that helps lift low-income workers out of poverty. Far too many workers in New Jersey are facing economic hardship and unable to make basic ends meet without turning to increasingly strained private charities. The EITC has been one of the most successful anti-poverty programs in our country's history, but more needs to be done to make sure people who need it most can benefit from the tax credit.

    Currently, low-income workers between the ages of 21-24 are not eligible to take the EITC. New Jersey has the highest number of young adults living at home with parents, because they cannot afford to move out on their own. Lowering the eligibility age to 21 would enable more young people to enter the workforce and to more fully participate in our state’s economy.

    Further, childless individuals or married couples are too frequently excluded from the tax credit by age or the low income threshold and they still struggle to make ends meet in our high cost state. The low-income limits combined with the low amount of the tax credit does not lift these adults out of poverty at the same rates as adults with children. Thus both raising the income limits for single and married childless adults and increasing the maximum tax credit benefit are greatly needed. For more on this, you can read the recent report from New Jersey Policy Perspective on the EITC expansion and the federal proposals.