What is this Earned Income Credit?

    It's an extra credit for low income people.  It's free money.

    See if you qualify on the IRS site:

    Qualifying Child Rules (has to be under 19 or under 24 and a full time student):

    You can qualify for the EIC without a qualifying child if you are at least age 25 but under age 65 and your earned income and AGI is less than $13,980 ($19,190 if married filing jointly).

    You can not get the EIC if you file Married Filing Separately.
    You can not get the EIC if you are a dependent on someone else's return.
    Income from a K-1 does not count as earned income for the EIC.

    Depending on income, EIC goes up, peaks, then goes down again to zero as income rises.  So if you make near the max income to qualify, you will get a lower amount for EIC.

    2012 Earned Income and Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) must each be less than:
    $45,060 ($50,270 married filing jointly) with three or more qualifying children 
    $41,952 ($47,162 married filing jointly) with two qualifying children 
    $36,920 ($42,130 married filing jointly) with one qualifying child 
    $13,980 ($19,190 married filing jointly) with no qualifying children

    Tax Year 2012 maximum credit:
    $5,891 with three or more qualifying children 
    $5,236 with two qualifying children 
    $3,169 with one qualifying child
    $475 with no qualifying children

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