Guest Op-Ed: Take advantage of tax credits


Every year, too many families miss out on tax savings because they fail to claim tax credits available to them. These tax credits, along with the lowest state income tax rates in over 60 years, are intended to provide families with much-needed tax relief.

Current tax credit programs include the Empire State Child Credit, worth up to $330 per child for ages 4-16; the Child and Dependent Care Credit, for working parents who pay for child care, depending on income and number of dependents; the federal Child Tax Credit, a partially refundable tax credit of up to $1,000 per child; the Real Property Tax Credit, a refundable tax credit worth up to $375; and the New York City School Tax Credit of up to $125 for qualifying taxpayers.

You may also be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Created to offset Social Security taxes, the EITC can reduce your tax burden – in fact, it could total up to $8,159 in savings.

To qualify for the NYS and federal EITC, you must have worked full or part time at some point during the calendar year; be a single or married person raising qualifying children at home; have income below $37,870 ($43,210 if married) with one child; have income below $43,038 ($48,378 if married) with two children; have income below $46,227 ($51,567 if married) with three or more children; or be a worker between 25 and 65, earning less than $14,340 ($19,680 if married) with no children.

To be eligible for the NYC EITC, you must also be a resident of NYC, for part of the year, claim the federal EITC and file a NYS income tax return.

Tax season can be stressful. However, preparation assistance is available for those who earn $52,000 or less. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers low to moderate-income families free tax preparation services, done by committed IRS-certified volunteers.

Another resource, the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program, helps people age 60 and older with their tax returns at no cost. To find the nearest site, visit, or call 800-906-9887.

If you’d like to learn more about the federal EITC and the Child and Dependent Care Credit, visit

For information on NYS taxes, the state EITC and NYC tax credits, visit NYC residents may also visit

As always, please feel free to contact my community office with any questions at 718-236-1598 or at

Assemblymember Bill Colton represents the 47th A.D.

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