The earned income tax credit (EITC) and the child tax credit (CTC) benefit nonelderly low-income working families through the federal income tax code. In 2011, more than 26 million tax returns received nearly $58 billion in EITC dollars and 34.8 million families with children received almost $52 billion in CTC dollars. More than three-quarters of all EITC benefits go to families in the two lowest income quintiles; in contrast, the CTC largely benefits middle-income families.
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