Cooney, Bullock and Walborn

From left to right: Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney; Gov. Steve Bullock; and Director of the Montana Department of Revenue, Gene Walborn.

MONTANA – Gov. Steve Bullock and Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney this week highlighted a tax credit for low- and middle-income Montanans. It is available for the first time after receiving approval from the Legislature in 2017.

“This tax credit will benefit nearly 75,000 working Montanans and help them provide basics for their families such as groceries and gas,” Gov. Bullock said. “In addition to lifting families out of poverty, the tax credit gets dollars invested in communities across the state to support local economies.”

The Montana Earned Income Tax Credit, sponsored by Rep. Tom Jacobson in 2017, passed with bipartisan support to provide an additional tax credit to low- and middle-income workers.

Montana is one of 29 states with an income tax credit, based on the federal Earned Income Tax Credit. The federal tax credit is intended to lift millions of American families above the poverty line and increase their quality of life.

For most Montanans, the state tax credit is worth 3% of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit. The tax credit is refundable, meaning those who don’t owe any taxes can still receive it. If the credit is more than what is owed, taxpayers receive the difference.

Two weeks into tax season, nearly 20,000 Montanans had already filed for the credit, the state reported.

Montanans who claimed the federal tax credit last year received an average credit of $2,178. It is estimated that the two tax credits combined will provide Montanans with hundreds to thousands of dollars that will be invested in local communities.

“This tax credit, especially when combined with the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit, can make a meaningful difference for Montana families,” Lt. Gov. Cooney said. “Thousands of Montanans have already taken advantage of this tax credit for the first time and it’s critical everyone carefully review the eligibility criteria to ensure they don’t miss out on this refundable credit.”

Eligibility for the credit is determined by the IRS and can be reviewed at:

Tax help events will be hosted around the state, where preparers can help Montanans determine if they are eligible for the credit and help file returns.

Visit for organizations hosting tax help events and information on approved tax preparation software.

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