EIC (Earned Income Credit) Notes

What are the qualifications for the Earned Income Credit (EIC or EITC)?

To qualify for and claim the Earned Income Credit you must:

  • 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 $3,500; 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:

  • $15,270 if you're not claiming a qualifying child ($20,950 if filing jointly);
  • $40,320 if you're claiming 1 qualifying child ($46,010 if filing jointly);
  • $45,802 if you're claiming 2 qualifying children ($51,492 if filing jointly);
  • $49,194 if you're claiming 3+ qualifying children ($54,884 if filing jointly).

One more thing if you're not claiming a qualifying child:

  • You (or your jointly filing spouse) must have been born on or after January 1, 1954; and
  • You (or your jointly filing spouse) must have been born on or before December 31, 1993; and
  • You (and your jointly filing spouse) cannot be claimed as a qualifying child or dependent on anyone else's return.

This link takes you to an on-line calculator for estimating a taxpayer's EIC. All you need are filing status, number of children, and household earnings. This is a very interesting tool.


The following table is from taxfoundation.org.