skip navigation

Search Help
Navigation Help


Main Topics
A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q R
S T U V W X Y Z #


FAQs
Forms
Publications
Tax Topics


Comments
About Tax Map
IRS Tax Map 2008
Current IRS Tax Map

taxmap/pub17/p17-188.htm#en_us_publink1000174655

Chapter 36
Earned Income Credit (EIC)(p242)

spacer

previous topic occurrence Earned Income Credit next topic occurrence


What's New(p242)


spacer

taxmap/pub17/p17-188.htm#en_us_publink1000236175

Earned income amount is more.(p242)

The EIC has increased for people with three or more children and for many married couples filing jointly. Also, the maximum amount of income you can earn and still get the credit has increased. You may be able to take the credit if: Your adjusted gross income also must be less than the amount in the above list that applies to you. For details, see Rules 1 and 15.
taxmap/pub17/p17-188.htm#en_us_publink1000211340

Definition of qualifying child changed.(p242)

For 2009, the following changes have been made to the definition of a qualifying child.
taxmap/pub17/p17-188.htm#en_us_publink1000174661

Investment income amount is more.(p242)

The maximum amount of investment income you can have and still get the credit has increased to $3,100. See Rule 6.

Reminders(p242)


spacer

taxmap/pub17/p17-188.htm#en_us_publink1000174664

Increased EIC on certain joint returns.(p242)

A married person filing a joint return may get more EIC than someone with the same income but a different filing status. As a result, the EIC table has different columns for married persons filing jointly than for everyone else. When you look up your EIC in the EIC Table, be sure to use the correct column for your filing status and the number of children you have.
taxmap/pub17/p17-188.htm#en_us_publink1000174665

Advance payment of the earned income credit in your paycheck.(p242)

If you expect to qualify for the earned income credit in 2010, you may be able to receive part of it in each paycheck throughout the year. See Advance Earned Income Credit, later, for more information.
taxmap/pub17/p17-188.htm#en_us_publink1000174667

Online help.(p242)

You can use the EITC Assistant at www.irs.gov/eitc to find out if you are eligible for the credit. The EITC Assistant is available in English and Spanish.
taxmap/pub17/p17-188.htm#en_us_publink1000174668

EIC questioned by IRS.(p242)

The IRS may ask you to provide documents to prove you are entitled to claim the EIC. We will tell you what documents to send us. These may include: birth certificates, school records, medical records, etc. We will also send you a letter with the name, address, and telephone number of the IRS employee assigned to your case. The process of establishing your eligibility will delay your refund.
taxmap/pub17/p17-188.htm#TXMP1a1851bc
The earned income credit (EIC) is a tax credit for certain people who work and have less than $48,279 of earned income. A tax credit usually means more money in your pocket. It reduces the amount of tax you owe. The EIC may also give you a refund.
taxmap/pub17/p17-188.htm#en_us_publink1000174669

How do you get the earned income credit?(p242)


rule
spacer

previous topic occurrence Earned Income Credit next topic occurrence

To claim the EIC, you must:
  1. Qualify by meeting certain rules, and
  2. File a tax return, even if you:
    1. Do not owe any tax,
    2. Did not earn enough money to file a return, or
    3. Did not have income taxes withheld from your pay.
When you complete your return, you can figure your EIC by using a worksheet in the instructions for Form 1040, Form 1040A, or Form 1040EZ. Or, if you prefer, you can let the IRS figure the credit for you.
taxmap/pub17/p17-188.htm#en_us_publink1000174670

How will this chapter help you?(p242)


rule
spacer

This chapter will explain the following.

taxmap/pub17/p17-188.htm#TXMP30e416cb

Useful items

You may want to see:


Publication
 596 Earned Income Credit (EIC)
Form (and Instructions)
 Schedule EIC: Earned Income Credit (Qualifying Child Information)
 W-5: Earned Income Credit Advance Payment Certificate
 8862: Information To Claim Earned Income Credit After Disallowance
taxmap/pub17/p17-188.htm#en_us_publink1000174671

Do You Qualify for the Credit?(p242)


rule
spacer

To qualify to claim the EIC, you must first meet all of the rules explained in Part A, Rules for Everyone. Then you must meet the rules in Part B, Rules If You Have a Qualifying Child, or Part C, Rules If You Do Not Have a Qualifying Child. There is one final rule you must meet in Part D, Figuring and Claiming the EIC. You qualify for the credit if you meet all the rules in each part that applies to you.
taxmap/pub17/p17-188.htm#en_us_publink1000174672

Table 36-1, Earned Income Credit in a Nutshell.(p242)


rule
spacer

Table 36-1, Earned Income Credit in a Nutshell

Use Table 36-1 as a guide to Parts A, B, C, and D. The table is a summary of all the rules in each part.
taxmap/pub17/p17-188.htm#en_us_publink1000174673

Do you have a qualifying child?(p242)


rule
spacer

previous topic occurrence Qualifying Child next topic occurrence

You have a qualifying child only if you have a child who meets the three tests described in Rule 8 and illustrated in Figure 36-1.
taxmap/pub17/p17-188.htm#en_us_publink1000174675

If Improper Claim  
Made in Prior Year(p242)


rule
spacer

Improper Claim Made in Prior Year

If your EIC for any year after 1996 was denied or reduced for any reason other than a math or clerical error, you must attach a completed Form 8862 to your next tax return to claim the EIC. You must also qualify to claim the EIC by meeting all the rules described in this chapter.
However, if your EIC was denied or reduced as a result of a math or clerical error, do not attach Form 8862 to your next tax return. For example, if your arithmetic is incorrect, the IRS can correct it. If you do not provide a correct social security number, the IRS can deny the EIC. These kinds of errors are called math or clerical errors.
If your EIC for any year after 1996 was denied and it was determined that your error was due to reckless or intentional disregard of the EIC rules, then you cannot claim the EIC for the next 2 years. If your error was due to fraud, then you cannot claim the EIC for the next 10 years.
taxmap/pub17/p17-188.htm#en_us_publink1000174676

More information.(p242)


rule
spacer

See chapter 5 in Publication 596 for more detailed information about the disallowance period and Form 8862.