If you qualify for the federal earned income tax credit and claim it on your federal return, you may be entitled to a Maryland earned income tax credit on the state return equal to 50% of the federal tax credit. However, If you do not meet the minimum age requirement under the federal credit and are otherwise eligible for the federal credit for those without a qualifying child, you may claim the state earned income tax credit (calculate federal earned income credit disregarding the minimum age requirement). The Maryland earned income tax credit (EITC) will either reduce or eliminate the amount of the state and local income tax that you owe.
For tax year 2018, the earned income tax credit is allowed if you meet the following conditions:
- You have three or more qualifying children and you earn less than $49,194 ($54,884 if married filing jointly).
- You have two qualifying children and you earn less than $45,802 ($51,492 if married filing jointly).
- You have one qualifying child and you earn less than $40,320 ($46,010 if married filing jointly).
- You do not have a qualifying child and you earn less than $15,270 ($20,950 if married filing jointly).
To calculate the amount of your tax credit, complete the State Earned Income Credit Worksheet included in Instruction 18 of the Maryland tax booklet.
If you are a Maryland resident, you may qualify for the Maryland earned income tax credit even if you're not required to file a Maryland tax return. For tax years beginning after 12/31/2014, nonresidents may no longer claim any earned income credit.
Refundable Earned Income Tax Credit
If the earned income tax credit exceeds your Maryland tax liability, you may be entitled to a refund. Complete the Refundable Earned Income Credit Worksheet in Instruction 21 of the resident tax booklet.
For tax year 2018, the refundable earned income credit is calculated as 28% of your federal earned income credit, less your state income tax liability. If this amount is zero or less, no refund is due. The refundable amount of the credit may not be carried forward to any other tax year.
Local Earned Income Tax Credit
If you are a Maryland resident who qualifies for the state earned income credit, you may also qualify for a local earned income tax credit. Complete the Local Earned Income Credit Worksheet included in Instruction 19 of the tax booklet. The unused local income tax credit may not be refunded or carried forward to any other tax year.
Nonresidents, Part-Year Residents
Part-year residents must prorate their earned income credits on Form 502, based on the ratio of Maryland adjusted gross income to federal adjusted gross income. For tax years beginning after 12/31/2014, nonresidents may no longer claim any earned income credit.
Free Tax Preparation
Free tax preparation services are available at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites to help low- and moderate-income taxpayers file their federal and Maryland income tax returns free of charge. Trained volunteers will prepare your returns, make sure you claim all the tax credits to which you are entitled, and even file your returns electronically - for free.
To find a VITA site in your area, call 410-685-0525 or 1-800-492-0618. Hearing impaired individuals can call TTY 410-685-2159. When calling, please indicate if you plan to file for a prior tax year.
Additionally, if you earned less than $54,000, you may qualify for free tax preparation through the CASH Campaign of Maryland. You can call 1-800-492-0618 for more information.
Maryland Taxpayer Service Offices
In addition, if you bring a completed copy of your federal return and all related documents to any of our taxpayer service offices, we will complete your Maryland income tax return and even file it electronically for you for free. Our offices are open Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
- EITC Central
- Individuals Taxpayer Assistance
- Maryland Family Network
- CASH Campaign of Maryland