Illinois Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Earned Income Credit (EIC)

​What is Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC/EIC)?

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC/EIC) is a benefit for working people with low to moderate income that reduces the amount of tax owed and may result in a refund. To qualify, you must meet certain requirements and file a tax return, even if you do not owe any tax or are not required to file.

For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2018, the Illinois EITC/EIC is 18 percent of your federal EITC/EIC.

Do I qualify for the Illinois EITC/EIC?

In general, if you qualified for a federal Earned Income Tax Credit, you also qualify for the Illinois EITC/EIC.

Federally, you qualify for EITC/EIC if:

For more information on qualifying for the federal EITC/EIC, go to the IRS website.

How do I claim the Illinois EITC/EIC?

You can only get the EITC/EIC if you qualify for it on your federal income tax return.

To claim the EITC/EIC on your 2018 IL-1040, Illinois Individual Income Tax Return, you must complete Schedule IL-E/EIC and enter the total from Line 8 on your IL-1040, Line 28. For more guidance see the instructions for the Schedule IL-E/EIC.

How do I claim the Illinois EITC/EIC for prior years?

If you filed Form IL-1040 for a prior year, and received the federal EITC/EIC credit, but did not claim the Illinois EITC/EIC credit for that year, you may file IL-1040-X, Amended Illinois Income Tax Return, to claim it. Also,

  • for tax year 2017, include Schedule EIC.
  • for tax years 2008 – 2016, include Schedule ICR.
  • for tax years 2007 and prior, include the Earned Income Credit (EIC) Worksheet in the IL-1040 Instructions.
Note: Unless you were required to file US Form 1040-X and received a refund of the Earned Income Credit, you may only receive a refund of your Illinois Earned Income Credit if you file a return claiming the credit within three years of the extended due date of the return (generally October 15th).

I received a letter from the Illinois Department of Revenue about EITC/EIC, what should I do?

We send letters about EITC/EIC that may:

  • Ask you to send information to verify your federal EITC/EIC claim,
  • Ask you to send additional information to confirm your claim,
  • Ask you to send information to verify your business income and expenses,
  • Provide important information about your claim, or
  • Ask you to provide additional information such as:
    • your city-, state-, or county-issued professional license, registration, or certification (if required for your occupation)
    • sales, business, or withholding tax registration forms
    • your federal return
    • your federal Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ
    • your federal Form 8867 (if you used a paid preparer to file your return)
    • documents you used to calculate your business income and expenses (ledger, spreadsheet, journal, sales slips, receipts, etc.)

Please do not attach this information to your originally-filed Form IL-1040, Individual Income Tax Return, unless it is requested in the instructions. If necessary, we will send you a letter requesting additional documents in order to verify your EITC/EIC.

Respond to the address listed on the letter with all of the information requested. 

What are some common errors in claiming the EITC/EIC?

Errors can delay your refund or result in the Illinois Department of Revenue denying your EITC/EIC claim. Avoid the following common errors:

  • Claiming a child who does not meet the qualifying tests for age, relationship and residency.
  • Social Security number or last name mismatches.
  • Filing as single or head of household when married.
  • Over or under reporting of income or expenses.
  • Entering the incorrect amount of federal EITC/EIC credit.