Qualifications for claiming the Earned Income Credit (EIC)

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Qualifications for claiming the Earned Income Credit (EIC) 

 SUMMARY

This article lists the qualifications for claiming the Earned Income Credit (EIC).

MORE INFORMATION

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a refundable tax credit that primarily supplements the income of single parents and couples with qualifying child(ren). Review the following information to verify whether the taxpayer and child(ren) are eligible to claim EIC.

Part A. Rules for Everyone:

  • Taxpayer’s adjusted gross income (AGI) must be less than:
    • $50,594 ($55,992 for married filing jointly) if you have three or more qualifying children
    • $47,440 ($52,493 for married filing jointly) if you have two qualifying children.
    • $41,756 ($46,884 for married filing jointly) if you have one qualifying child, or
    • $15,570 ($21,370 for married filing jointly) if you do not have a qualifying child.
  • Taxpayer must have a valid social security number. (If married, spouse must also have a valid social security number.)
  • Taxpayer’s filing status cannot be “Married filing separately.”
  • Taxpayer must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien all year.
  • Taxpayer cannot file Form 2555 or Form 2555-EZ.
  • Taxpayer’s investment income must be $3,650 or less.
  • Taxpayer must have earned income of at least $1.

 Part B. Rules if You Have a Qualifying Child:

  • Taxpayer’s child must meet the relationship, age, residency, and joint return tests.
    • Relationship: The child must be your son, daughter, adopted child, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant of any of them such as niece and nephew.
    • Age: The child must be under the age of 19 at the end of the year and younger than your (or your spouse, if filing jointly), (b) under age 24 at the end of the year, a full-time student, and younger than you (or your spouse, if filing jointly) and a full-time student, or (c) any age if permanently and totally disabled.
    • Residency: The child must have lived with you for more than half of the year in the same main home.
    • Joint return test: The child cannot be filing a joint return for the year (unless that return is filed only as a claim for refund).
  • Taxpayer’s qualifying child cannot be used by more than one person to claim the EIC.
  • Taxpayer cannot be a qualifying child of another person.

 

Part C. Rules if You Do Not Have a Qualifying Child:

  • Taxpayer must be at least age 25 but under age 65.
  • Taxpayer cannot be the dependent of another person.
  • Taxpayer cannot be a qualifying child of another person.
  • Taxpayer must have lived in the United States more than half the year.
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