Tax Credits for Working Families

North Carolina

Earned Income Tax Credit^

State Income Tax: 5.8 percent

State EITC: No. A North Carolina EITC was enacted in 2007 and expanded in 2008, extended in 2012, then eliminated beginning in 2014.

Formula: 5 percent of federal EITC through 2012; 4.5% in 2013.

News/Notes: The state EITC was originally created during the 2007 legislative session and was set at 3.5 percent of the federal credit. The North Carolina legislature increased the state EITC to 5 percent during the 2008 legislative session. In 2009, it also introduced a bill to further expand the state EITC to 6.5 percent of the federal credit, but it did not pass. The North Carolina Department of Revenue estimates that North Carolinians will claim $81.2 million through the state’s EITC in tax year 2010. North Carolina’s EITC is scheduled to expire in 2013.

In February 2011, HB 93 and SB 117 were introduced to eliminate the refundable portion of the state’s EITC. After extensive debate in committee, during which members from both sides of the aisle indicated concerns with this proposal, the vote was postponed and the legislature never moved forward with this effort.

In June 2012 the House (HB 1025) and Senate (S827) passed a bill that has been signed by the Governor that extends the EITC for one year.

On February 13, 2013, the North Carolina House Finance Committee voted to reduce the state EITC from 5 percent to 4.5 percent of the federal credit for tax year 2013. While any cut would be disturbing, there had been concerns that they would try to replace the EITC with an alternative plan to eliminate taxes on the first $35,000 of income.  This proposal would prevent low-income people from paying income taxes, but it would do nothing to offset other state and local taxes and little to reduce poverty or support low-wage workers.

On February 20th the full House passed this bill, House Bill 82, and the Senate passed it on March 6th; on March 12 the Governor signed it into law.

Reports/Materials: First in Flight From the EITC: Low-Income Working Families Bid Farewell to North Carolina’s Earned Income Tax Credit, Tazra Mitchell, Policy Analyst, North Carolina Justice Center, March 2014

FACTSHEET: 64,000 North Carolina Military Families Set to Lose EITC, Experience Tax Increase, Alexandra Forter Sirota, North Carolina Justice Center, July 2013

MEDIA RELEASE: EITC is the best tool for addressing increased tax load on low-income taxpayers, report finds, North Carolina Justice Center, May 2013

BTC BRIEF: State EITC is the best tool to reduce an increased tax load on low-income taxpayers, Alexandra Forter Sirota, North Carolina Justice Center, May 2013

BTC BRIEF: First Comprehensive Tax Legislation Would Not Protect Low- and Middle-Income Taxpayers from Tax Increases, North Carolina Justice Center, April 2013

New Senate tax reform bill fails to protect low- and middle-income taxpayers from tax increases, North Carolina Justice Center, April 2013

Prosperity Watch Issue 22, No. 3: The Earned Income Tax Credit Benefits Low-Income Working Families Across North Carolina, North Carolina Justic Center Budget and Tax Center, February 2013

BTC BRIEF: North Carolina’s Earned Income Tax Credit – A Modest but Vital Boost to Low-Paid Workers across the State, Tazra Mitchell, North Carolina Justic Center, February 2013

North Carolina State & Local Taxes, from Who Pays? A Distributional Analysis of the Tax Systems in All 50 States, Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, January 2013

North Carolina’s State Earned Income Tax Credit: A Support for Working Families with Wide-spread Benefits, NC Budget and Tax Center, May 2012

Supporting Essential Workers – Health, Education and Public-Safety Occupations Benefit from the Earned Income Tax Credit, Alexandra Forter Sirota, North Carolina Justice Center, March 2012

A proven tool against child poverty, Barbara Bradley, NC Policy Watch, February 2012

Strengthen the State Earned Income Tax Credit, North Carolina Justice Center, January 2012

Making Work Pay: Tax Credits for Working Families Enable and Encourage Work by Alleviating Employment-Related and Family Expenses, Edwin McLenaghan, NC Justice Center, May 2011

Table of State EITC, Child Tax Credit and Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit Benefits for TY 2008/2009 by County, NC Justice Center (based on NC Department of Revenue data), May 2011

The Campaign to Save the EITC for NC Working Families website, North Carolina Justice Center, launched April 2011

EITC in North Carolina: A Tool to Help Working Families and Communities Statewide, North Carolina Justice Center, March 2011

Vote No on House Bill 93/Senate Bill 117: Raising Taxes on Low-Income Working Families is bad for the economy, North Carolina Justice Center, February 2011

Strengthen the State EITC, Don’t Dismantle It: Reject House Bill 93, February 2011

BTC Brief: State EITC in North Carolina, Implemented in the Nick of Time, North Carolina Justice Center, October 2010

North Carolina: State and Local Taxes in 2007, Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, November 2009

A Matter of Fairness: It’s Time for NC to Enact Earned Income Tax Credit, North Carolina Justice Center, April 2007

Strategies for Helping Low-Income Taxpayers: Comparing a No-Tax Floor to a State EITC, North Carolina Justice Center, March 2007

A Hand Up, Not a Hand Out, North Carolina Budget and Tax Center, February 2007

Making Work Pay for North Carolina’s Low- and Moderate-Income Working Families: A State Earned Income Tax Credit for North Carolina, North Carolina Budget and Tax Center, 2007

A State Earned Income Tax Credit: Rebuilding the Economy and Tax Fairly, North Carolina Justice Center, April 2005

The Real Story on Fraud, Error and the EITC, North Carolina Justice and the Community Development Center, 2001

Outreach materials: Public Service Announcement from EITC-Carolinas.

Child Tax Credit^

State Credit: Yes

Refundable: No

Formula: $100 per child under age 17 on the last day of the tax year

Eligibility: Residents who are entitled to claim the federal Child Tax Credit may claim a “Credit for Children” of $100 on the State return if their adjusted gross income is less than:

  • $100,000 for married filing jointly
  • $80,000 for head of household
  • $60,000 for single
  • $50,000 for married filing separately

They may claim a credit of $125  if their adjusted gross income is less than

  • $40,000 for married filing jointly
  • $32,000 for head of household
  • $20,000 for single or married filing separately

News/Notes: North Carolina is one of only four states to have a state Child Tax Credit. California, like North Carolina, has a Child Tax Credit that is not tied to the federal credit. New York and Oklahoma have a Child Tax Credit based on a percentage of the federal credit. Under legislation enacted in 2013, Colorado will become the fifth state to have a Child Tax Credit, also based on the federal credit, if the United States ever passes a law to allow states to tax internet sales.

In May 2013, as part of a tax overhaul plan that would reduce the state income tax rate to 5.9% for everyone and increase the standard deduction to $12,000, House Republicans proposed increasing the state’s Child Tax Credit of $100 per child to $250 for most filers, but drop to $125 for the highest wage earners, beginning with 2014 tax returns. It is not yet clear whether the credit would be refundable. The Senate budget plan would maintain the credit at its current level.

Both House and Senate overall tax plans are predicted to raise taxes for low-income filers.

The  legislature gave final approval in July to a tax plan that retains the state’s Child Tax Credit and increases it to $125 for working married couples making less than $40,000, heads of households making less than $32,000 and singles and married couples filing separately making less than $20,000 but allows the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to expire as planned.

Reports/Materials: Making Work Pay: Tax Credits for Working Families Enable and Encourage Work by Alleviating Employment-Related and Family Expenses, Edwin McLenaghan, NC Justice Center, May 2011

Table of State EITC, Child Tax Credit and Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit Benefits for TY 2008/2009 by County, NC Justice Center (based on NC Department of Revenue data), May 2011

Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit^

State Credit: No

News/Notes: North Carolina used to have a Child and Dependent Care Credit that varied between 13 percent and 7 percent of the expenses eligible for the federal credit, depending on filing status, income, and type of dependent. The credit was limited to $390 per dependent, not to exceed $780 total. In 2013, however, the credit was eliminated.

Reports/Materials: Making Work Pay: Tax Credits for Working Families Enable and Encourage Work by Alleviating Employment-Related and Family Expenses, Edwin McLenaghan, NC Justice Center, May 2011

Table of State EITC, Child Tax Credit and Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit Benefits for TY 2008/2009 by County, NC Justice Center (based on NC Department of Revenue data), May 2011

 

Property Tax Circuit Breaker^

Circuit Breaker: Yes

Eligibility: A qualifying property owner must either be at least 65 years of age or be totally and permanently disabled.

Formula: For an eligible owner whose income amount for the previous year does not exceed the income eligibility limit for the current year, which for the 2011 tax year is $27,100, the owner’s taxes will be limited to four percent of the owner’s income. For an owner whose income exceeds the income eligibility limit ($27,000) but does not exceed 150% of the income eligibility limit, which for the 2011 tax year is $40,650, the owner’s taxes will be limited to five percent of the owner’s income. However, the taxes over the limitation amount are deferred and remain a lien on the property. The last three years of deferred taxes prior to disqualifying event will become due and payable, with interest, on the date of the disqualifying event. Disqualifying events are death of the owner, transfer of the property, and failure to use the property as the owner’s permanent residence.2

Reports/Fact Sheets: Idea 9: Enact a Property Tax Circuit Breaker,” Sarah Beth Coffey and Alan Essig, Center for a Better South, Doing Better: Progressive Tax Reform for the American South, June 2006

1. Form D-401, North Carolina Department of Revenue

2. G.S. 105-277.1B