The Earned Income Credit (EIC) is a refundable tax credit for low- to moderate-income working individuals and couples, particularly those with children. The amount of EITC benefit depends on a recipient's income and number of children.
To qualify for the EIC:
- Have earned income; and
- Have been a U.S. citizen or resident alien for the entire tax year; and
- Have a valid Social Security number (not an ITIN) for yourself, your spouse (if filing jointly), and any qualifying children on your return; and
- Not have investment income exceeding $3,600; and
- Not be filing a Form 2555 or 2555-EZ; and
- File a return with the Single, Married Filing Jointly, Head of Household, or Qualifying Widower filing status, even if you're not required to file a return.
In addition, both your earned income and Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) may not exceed:
- $15,570 if you're not claiming a qualifying child ($21,370 if filing jointly);
- $41,094 if you're claiming 1 qualifying child $46,884 if filing jointly);
- $46,703 if you're claiming 2 qualifying children ($52,493 if filing jointly);
- $50,162 if you're claiming 3+ qualifying children ($55,952 if filing jointly).
If you're not claiming a qualifying child:
- You (or your jointly filing spouse) must have been born on or after January 1, 1955; and
- You (or your jointly filing spouse) must have been born on or before December 31, 1994; and
- You (and your jointly filing spouse) cannot be claimed as a qualifying child or dependent on anyone else's return.
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Why are you asking? That is, what is your specific question or concern? The EIC is a government handout for low income WORKING people. If you are supporting related children, the hand out is even bigger (see the EC table at https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p596.pdf ). In addition to having earned income, there are other qualifiers. People under 25, or over 64 can't get it unless they have children. You can't get it if you are somebody else's dependent.
Google it. There are numerous articles and explanations, including:
At the bottom of this IRS page is a "See if You Qualify" tool button