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previous page Previous Page: Publication 596 - Earned Income Credit - How To Get Tax Help
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taxmap/wpubs/p596-022.htm#en_us_publink100023478

EIC Eligibility Checklist


rule
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EIC Eligibility Checklist

taxmap/wpubs/p596-022.htm#f15173a01
You may claim the EIC if you answer "Yes" to all the following questions.*
  YesNo
1. Is your AGI less than:
  • $12,880 ($15,880 for married filing jointly) if you do not have a qualifying child,
  • $33,995 ($36,995 for married filing jointly) if you have one qualifying child, or
  • $38,646 ($41,646 for married filing jointly) if you have more than one qualifying child?
    (See Rule 1.)
2. Do you, your spouse, and your qualifying child each have a valid SSN? (See Rule 2.)
3. Is your filing status married filing jointly, head of household, qualifying widow(er), or single? (See Rule 3.)
Caution: If you or your spouse is a nonresident alien, answer "Yes" only if your filing status is married filing jointly. (See Rule 4.)
4. Answer "Yes" if you are not filing Form 2555 or Form 2555-EZ. Otherwise, answer "No." (See Rule 5.)
5. Is your investment income $2,950 or less? (See Rule 6.)
6. Is your total earned income at least $1 but less than:
  • $12,880 ($15,880 for married filing jointly) if you do not have a qualifying child,
  • $33,995 ($36,995 for married filing jointly) if you have one qualifying child, or
  • $38,646 ($41,646 for married filing jointly) if you have more than one qualifying child?
    (See Rules 7 and 15.)
7. Answer "Yes" if you (and your spouse if filing a joint return) are not a qualifying child of another person. Otherwise, answer "No." (See Rules 10 and 13.)
 STOP: If you have a qualifying child, answer questions 8 and 9 and skip 10–12. If you do not have a qualifying child, skip questions 8 and 9 and answer 10–12.*   
8. Does your child meet the age, residency, and relationship tests for a qualifying child? (See Rule 8.)
9. Is your child a qualifying child only for you? Answer "Yes" if your qualifying child also meets the tests to be a qualifying child of another person, but the other person is not claiming any child-related tax benefits using that child. Answer "No" if you do not know whether the other person is claiming any child-related tax benefits using that child.
10. Were you (or your spouse if filing a joint return) at least age 25 but under age 65 at the end of 2008? (See Rule 11.)
11. Answer "Yes" if you (and your spouse if filing a joint return) cannot be claimed as a dependent on anyone else's return. Answer "No" if you (or your spouse if filing a joint return) can be claimed as a dependent on someone else's return. (See Rule 12.)
12. Was your main home (and your spouse's if filing a joint return) in the United States for more than half the year? (See Rule 14.)
*PERSONS WITH A QUALIFYING CHILD: If you answered "Yes" to questions 1 through 9, you can claim the EIC. Remember to fill out Schedule EIC and attach it to your Form 1040 or Form 1040A. You cannot use Form 1040EZ. If you answered "Yes" to questions 1 through 8 and "No" to question 9, see Rule 9 to help you determine whether you can claim the EIC. If you answered "Yes" to questions 1 through 7 and "No" to question 8, answer questions 10 through 12 to see if you can claim the EIC without a qualifying child.
PERSONS WITHOUT A QUALIFYING CHILD: If you answered "Yes" to questions 1 through 7, and 10 through 12, you can claim the EIC.
If you answered "No" to any question that applies to you: You cannot claim the EIC.
previous page Previous Page: Publication 596 - Earned Income Credit - How To Get Tax Help
next page Next Page: IRS Procedures > Address Changes
 Use previous pagenext page to find additional occurrences of topic items.Index for this Publication