Working Family Credit
Tax Year 2018
- What is the Working Family Credit (WFC)?
- How much money is the WFC worth?
- Who can get the WFC?
- Does my child or another child I’m raising count for me to get the WFC?
- What if my child doesn’t live with me all the time? Can I still count that child to get the WFC?
- If I am not raising children, can I get the WFC?
- How do I get the WFC?
- If I am married, do I have to file “jointly” to get the WFC?
- Are there any asset limits for the WFC?
- Do I have to be a U.S. Citizen to get the WFC?
- Does it matter how long I have lived in Minnesota?
- If I am an American Indian, can I get the WFC?
- How long will it take to get my state tax refund?
- Where do I go to get an application?
- If I don’t file my taxes will I get the WFC?
- Why should I file my taxes if I do not have to?
- What if I was supposed to get the WFC last year or the year before but I didn’t?
- Where can I go to get my taxes done (file my taxes)?
- How much does it cost to file my taxes?
- What should I bring to get my taxes done?
- What is “Instant Money,” “Money Now” or a “Refund Anticipation Loan?"
- What counts as “earned income” for the Working Family Credit?
- What is gross income?
- What are the income limits for the Working Family Credit?
The Working Family Credit is a Minnesota state tax credit that helps low-income people who are working, especially those who are raising children. It is a state version of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Most people who get the EITC also get the WFC. If you get the WFC, you will either get a larger refund (money given back to you) or pay less in state taxes.
The Working Family Credit is administered by the Minnesota Department of Revenue.
Most people who get the WFC get a refund. The largest refund you can get from the WFC during Tax Year 2018 is $136 if you have no children, $1,091 (if you have one child), and $2,1041 (if you have two or more children). The average WFC refund is about $546.
The WFC is mostly for working parents (or others such as grandparents, relatives or foster parents) who are raising one or more children in Minnesota. There are also rules about which children count for the WFC (see the next question). Some people who are not raising children, but who work can also get the WFC (see Question 6). Your income from work has to be below the limits to get the WFC. (See Question 23 for the income limits.) Lots of people who can get the WFC do not get it because they do not file their taxes. They miss out on money that is meant for them.
- A son, daughter, adopted child, foster child placed by an agency, grandchild, stepchild, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister (or a descendent of any of these), who lived in your home for at least six months during the past year.
- Under age 19, or under age 24 if a full-time student. Totally and permanently disabled children can be counted at any age.
The change in the Uniform Definition of a Child adds two new rules to the definition of a “qualifying child.” The child must:
- Be younger than the person claiming the child
- Not have filed a joint return other than to claim a refund
Single adults or couples who are not raising children, but are working, can also get a smaller WFC. Starting in Tax Year 2019, Minnesotans age 21-25 without children may begin to claim the credit. For tax years prior to 2019, adults without children had to be at least 25 years old to claim the credit. The income limits to get the WFC are much lower for people who are not raising children but they have increased in recent years. (See Question 23 for the income limits.)
You can only get the WFC if you file your taxes (or have someone file them for you). If you pay someone to do your taxes, it will probably cost you $120 or more. There are also free tax preparation sites throughout Minnesota. Trained, professional volunteers at the these sites will prepare your taxes at no cost to you. To find a free tax site near you, click here or call United Way 2-1-1 by dialing 2-1-1 (651-291-0211 for cell phone users).
Yes. For Tax Year 2018, if you have more than $3,500 in investment income, you cannot get the WFC. (This does not apply to most people.) Other assets such as money in a checking or savings account or other items you own do not matter for the WFC.
No. Legal immigrants can also get the WFC, but you have to have a Social Security Number (valid for work) for yourself, your spouse (if you have one) and your qualifying children to get it.
Effective for Tax Year 2017, American Indians no longer need to adjust their WFC amount according to their earned income taxable to Minnesota. For tax years 2016 and earlier, American Indians, primarily those who lived and worked on the same reservation in Minnesota, must adjust their credit based on the amount of income taxable to Minnesota.
There is no application because the WFC is not a program. To get the WFC, you have to file your state income taxes. To find a free tax preparation site near you click here.
Because many Minnesotans with low incomes can get money back at tax time. If you do not file your taxes, you could miss out on lots of money. Plus, you can get your taxes done for free at many places in Minnesota. To find a list of free tax preparation sites throughout the state of Minnesota, click here or call United Way 2-1-1 by dialing 2-1-1 (651-291-0211 for cell phone users).
If you pay someone to file your taxes, it will probably cost you at least $120, and it could cost much more. If you go to a free tax preparation site (VITA or AARP), you will not have to pay anything. For Prepare + Prosper's free tax preparation sites click here. For VITA or AARP tax preparation sites in Minnesota click here or call United Way 2-1-1 by dialing 2-1-1 (651-291-0211 for cell phone users).
- A picture ID.
- Cards showing Social Security Numbers or Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs). You will also need to know the birth dates for each member of your family.
- It is helpful to bring a copy of your tax return from last year. Taxpayers can file three years back for unclaimed tax credits.
- Direct deposit information (such as a check) showing your bank account and routing numbers.
- Year-end income statements showing income from all jobs or payments (W-2 or 1099 forms)
- Year-end income statements for MFIP, SSI, MSA, GA, Social Security payments, veteran’s benefits and worker’s compensation.
- If you have a child in school in kindergarten through grade 12, bring receipts that show the school expenses that you paid for. Examples of school expenses are pens, pencils, notebooks, folders, purchase or rental of an instrument used in school, music lessons, etc. (Optional)
- Tuition expenses you paid to attend a university or technical college (Form 1098-T). (Optional)
- Interest paid on student loans (Form 1098-E)
- Daycare expenses. Bring your provider’s name, address, and tax ID or Social Security Number. (Optional)
- If you are a renter, bring your Certificate of Rent Paid (CRP).
- If you are a homeowner, bring your statements showing mortgage interest and real estate taxes paid (Form 1098) and Property Tax Payable (mailed by the county in March). (Optional)
- Charitable donations. (Optional)
- If you have a small business, daycare, or self-employment income, contact the tax site to see what else you need to bring.
For Tax Year 2018, to get the WFC, all of your earned income and adjusted gross income has to be below the limits. The limits are different for different groups of people.
For Single Parents:
- If you are a single parent raising one child, your earned income and adjusted gross income has to be below $40,355
- If you are a single parent raising two or more children, your earned income and adjusted gross income has to be below $45,808
For Married Parents Filing Jointly:
- If you are married and raising one child, you and your spouse’s earned income and adjusted gross income combined has to be below $39,568
- If you are married and raising two or more children, you and your spouse’s earned income and adjusted gross income combined has to be below $44,922.
For Those Not Raising Children:
- For single adults, your earned income and adjusted gross income has to be below $15,300.
- For married adults, you and your spouse’s earned income and adjusted gross income has to be below $20,875.