Open TurboTax

Why sign in to the Community?

  • Submit a question
  • Check your notifications
or and start working on your taxes
Announcements
Your taxes, your way. Get expert help or do it yourself. >> Get started
Close icon
Do you have a TurboTax Online account?

We'll help you get started or pick up where you left off.

cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
shella2982
Returning Member

If I only received unemployment during 2020 can I receive earned income credit? I have one dependent. The program offered to use last years AGI but I have to mail in

I did work during part of 2019.
3 Replies
AmyC
Employee Tax Expert

If I only received unemployment during 2020 can I receive earned income credit? I have one dependent. The program offered to use last years AGI but I have to mail in

Yes. The IRS is aware that many people had a rough 2020. The rules were changed for 2020 so that you can use your 2019 income to receive the Earned Income Credit. See our full answer Do I Qualify for Earned Income Credit While on ... - TurboTax

 

Related: 

Publication 596 (2020), Earned Income Credit (EIC) | Internal ...

What are the qualifications?

Please read this IRS document for more information on release of refunds. First week of March 2021 is earliest for those who e-file.

**Say "Thanks" by clicking the thumb icon in a post
**Mark the post that answers your question by clicking on "Mark as Best Answer"
shella2982
Returning Member

If I only received unemployment during 2020 can I receive earned income credit? I have one dependent. The program offered to use last years AGI but I have to mail in

Not helpful at all.  Obviously if it asked to use last years income they are allowing it.  My question was in regards to not working at all in 2020 and only receiving unemployment.  I am concerned that this is an error and will hold up any refund that I should actually be receiving.

ErnieS0
Employee Tax Expert

If I only received unemployment during 2020 can I receive earned income credit? I have one dependent. The program offered to use last years AGI but I have to mail in

Unemployment is not considered earned income so you would not qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) if your only income in 2020 was unemployment. The IRS specifically says unemployment does not count for EITC.

 

As @AmyC said, the IRS allows you to use 2019 income if it was lower than 2020 income.

 

Earned income includes all the taxable income and wages you get from working for someone else, yourself or from a business or farm you own.

 

Types of Earned Income

  • Wages, salary or tips where federal income taxes are withheld on Form W-2, box 1
  • Income from a job where your employer didnt withhold tax (such as gig economy work) including:
    • Driving a car for booked rides or deliveries
    • Running errands or doing tasks
    • Selling goods online
    • Providing creative or professional services
    • Providing other temporary, on-demand or freelance work
  • Money made from self-employment, including if you:
  • Benefits from a union strike
  • Certain disability benefits you got before you were the minimum retirement age
  • Nontaxable Combat Pay (Form W-2, box 12 with code Q)

Earned income does not include:

  • Pay you got for work when you were an inmate in a penal institution
  • Interest and dividends
  • Pensions or annuities
  • Social Security
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Alimony
  • Child support

Refer to Earned Income and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Tables

About Community

Learn about taxes, budgeting, saving, borrowing, reducing debt, investing, and planning for retirement.

3.49m
Members

2.62m
Discussions

Manage cookies
v