GAO Reports  
GGD-96-122BR June 13, 1996

Earned Income Credit: Profile of Tax Year 1994 Credit Recipients

Total Earned Income Credit (EIC) program costs have risen dramatically in recent years as Congress has extended EIC coverage and increased credit rates. From tax year 1990 to tax year 1994, EIC program costs (in 1994 dollars) increased by about 150 percent. During that same period, the number of EIC recipients increased by about 50 percent. Much of the recent growth in the number of taxpayers claiming the EIC can be attributed to the extension of the credit to childless adults beginning in tax year 1994. About 15 million families with children received $20.5 billion of EIC in tax year 1994; another four million childless adults received an additional $0.7 billion. The refundable portion of the EIC for tax year 1994 was $16.7 billion, or 79 percent of the total EIC.

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