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Who Are the Ineligible EITC Recipients?

Liebman, Jeffrey B.


The IRS estimates that more than 20 percent of Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) payments are made in error. By matching the Current Population Survey (CPS) to tax return data, this paper finds that a large portion of the overpayments went to families with children. Depending on the exact measure used, only 11 to 13 percent of EITC recipients lacked children in their household at the time they received the EITC. While some of these erroneous payments to households with children are received by households with incomes above EITC eligibility levels, many of these ineligible families with children are likely to be quite similar to eligible EITC families.


Liebman, Jeffrey B. (2000), Who Are the Ineligible EITC Recipients?, National Tax Journal, 53:4, pp. 1165-86

DOI: dx.doi.org/10.17310/ntj.2000.4S1.06