What is the Earned Income Credit (EIC) and How to Qualify

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The Earned Income Tax Credit, also known as the EIC and EITC, is a tax credit for individuals who only make an annual income that is considered low or moderate. Your filing status and your income determine the amount of the credit.

If you are able to qualify for the credit your federal taxes will be lower and you may even get a tax refund. However, to qualify you have to file a tax return even if you are not legally required to do so.earned income credit eic

General EIC Requirements

  • You and your qualified dependents have to have a social security number that is valid
  • You cannot file with the filing status married filing separately
  • Your investment income cannot exceed $3,300
  • You have to be a citizen/resident alien for the entire year
  • Your earned income has to come from self-employment or employment.


If you file your taxes with Turbo Tax, they will automatically calculate your credit amount based on the information that you enter into the system. Additionally, you can 
read more here to see if you are eligible for this tax credit.

Claiming the EIC If You Do Not Have Dependents

In the event that you do not have any dependents you may still be eligible for the credit. Those who have dependents will receive more; however, some people qualify without dependents.

Which Dependents Qualify?

The IRS uses qualifying children when it comes to determining the amount you will receive for the credit. In order for a child to be considered a qualifying child for this tax credit they must be a relative, have a social security number and meet the age, residency, and relationship criteria’s.

This means they have to be your son, daughter, foster child, step brother/sister, adopted child, or a descendent from them. In addition, they have to be under the age of 19 unless they are a student then they have to be under the age of 24.

If the child is disabled, there is no age limit. Furthermore, you cannot claim more than three qualifying children.

Are There Age Limits Regarding EIC Eligibility

If you and your spouse file married filing jointly, you can qualify as long as you are over 25 and under 65 if you do not have any qualifying children. If you have a qualifying child, there is no age limit.

Keep in mind that if you file your taxes with Turbo Tax you only have to answer a few simply questions to see whether you qualify for the EIC. This means that you will not have to know the current tax laws and you will be able to receive your maximum tax refund.

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