to top

Division of Taxation

Know and Claim NJEITC

In general, you must meet the federal EITC requirements and claim a federal EITC to be eligible for the NJEITC. However, New Jersey does not follow the federal age limits for the NJEITC program. Residents who are at least 18 years old by the last day of the year may apply, with or without dependents.


To be eligible for the NJEITC for Tax Year 2023, you must:

  • Be a New Jersey resident who works or earns income;
  • Be at least 18 years old, with or without a qualified dependent;
  • Meet the federal income limits for your filing status and claimed dependents;
  • Have a valid Social Security number (This includes your spouse and any qualifying dependent you list on your tax return); and
  • File a New Jersey Resident Income Tax Return (NJ-1040), even if your New Jersey gross income is below the filing threshold.

You cannot be listed as a dependent on another tax return.

Important Information About NJEITC:

Filing Status Qualifying Children Claimed
  0 1 2 3 or more
Single, Head of Household, or Widowed $17,640 $46,560 $52,918 $56,838
Married Filing Jointly $24,210 $53,120 $59,478 $63,398

You must have earned income to qualify for an NJEITC. Earned income includes:

Examples of Income that are not considered earned income:

  • Pay received for work while an inmate in a penal institution
  • Interest and dividends
  • Retirement income
  • Social Security benefits
  • Unemployment benefits
  • S Corporation income
  • Alimony
  • Child support

Investment Income Limit:

  • Investment income must be $11,000 or less for the year.

A qualifying child is a dependent whom is directly related to you by blood or by legal means (ex. marriage, adoption, fostering).

A qualifying child must also:

  • Have a valid Social Security number; and
  • Live with you for more than half of the year; and
  • Be younger than you (or your spouse/CU partner if filing jointly); and
  • Be under age 19 at end of the calendar year; or
  • Be under the age of 24 at the end of the calendar year and a full-time student; or
  • Be totally and permanently disabled at any time in the tax year (at any age).

Examples of qualifying children (dependents)

  • Son
  • Daughter
  • Stepson
  • Stepdaughter
  • Brother
  • Sister
  • Stepbrother
  • Stepsister
  • Half-brother/sister
  • Grandchild
  • Nieces/nephews
  • Foster child
  • Adopted child

Filing Status

To qualify for the NJEITC, you can use one of the following filing statuses:

  • Head of household;
  • Qualifying widow or widower;
  • Single;
  • Married/Civil Union Partner, filing separate;
  • Married filing jointly;
  • Certain couples married filing separately.

Married Filing Separately

You can claim the NJEITC if you are married, not filing a joint return, had a qualifying child who lived with you for more than half of 2023, and you lived apart from your spouse for the last 6 months of 2023.

Civil Union Couples

You are eligible for an NJEITC only if you claim and are allowed a federal EITC. If you are not filing a joint New Jersey return, you must have had a qualifying child who lived with you for more than half of the tax year, and lived apart from your civil union partner for the last six months of the tax year.

If you file a joint or separate federal return, use the amount of your federal EITC to calculate your New Jersey credit.

If you did not file a joint or separate federal return, prepare a federal return using the same filing status as on your NJ-1040, and then calculate the amount of the federal EITC you would have been eligible to receive. Use that amount to calculate your New Jersey credit.

The maximum amount of credit for Tax Year 2023 is:

  • $2,972 with three or more qualifying children
  • $2,642 with two qualifying children
  • $1,598 with one qualifying child
  • $240 with no qualifying children

How to Claim NJEITC

Step 1: The NJEITC is a percentage of the federal EITC, so you need your federal EITC first.

18 years old without a dependent. To qualify, no one else can claim you on their tax return. Your NJEITC is a specific amount designated yearly; you do not need to calculate a federal EITC to determine your New Jersey percentage. For Tax Year 2023, the amount is $240.

Step 2: Once you know your federal EITC amount, you must file a New Jersey Resident Income Tax Return (Form NJ-1040) to claim the NJEITC. Even if your income is equal to or below the New Jersey filing threshold amount, you still need to file the return to show your income for the year and claim the credit. You cannot claim this credit on any other form.

Step 3: Wait for your refund!

If you get a letter asking for documentation, send everything in as requested, so we can get the credit sent out as quickly as possible.

If you need help, we are here!

Access one of the "Contact Us" options above. There are additional free preparation services for eligible EITC taxpayers.

Last Updated: Tuesday, 12/05/23