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taxmap/wpubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000167167
Publication 596

taxmap/wpubs/p596-000.htm#TXMP0367b33d
Earned Income Credit (EIC)


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Introduction– Begin Here

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What is the EIC?(p3)

The earned income credit (EIC) is a tax credit for certain people who work and have earned income under $48,279. 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/wpubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000167170

Can I Claim the EIC?(p3)


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To claim the EIC, you must meet certain rules. These rules are summarized in Table 1.  
Table 1. Earned Income Credit in a Nutshell
First, you must meet all the rules in this column. Second, you must meet all the rules in one of these columns, whichever applies. Third, you must meet the rule in this column.
Chapter 1.
Rules for Everyone
Chapter 2.
Rules If You Have a Qualifying Child
Chapter 3.
Rules If You Do Not Have a Qualifying Child
Chapter 4.
Figuring and Claiming the EIC
  1. Your
adjusted gross income (AGI) must be less than:
• $43,279
($48,279 for married filing jointly) if you have three or more qualifying children,

• $40,295
($45,295 for married filing jointly) if you have two qualifying children,

• $35,463  ($40,463 for married filing jointly) if you have one qualifying child, or

• $13,440 ($18,440 for married filing jointly) if you do not have a qualifying child.
(See page 5.)
  2. You must have a valid social security number.
(See page 5.)
  3. Your filing status cannot be "Married filing separately."
(See page 6.) 
  4. You must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien all year.
(See page 6.)
  5. You cannot file Form 2555 or Form 2555-EZ (relating to foreign earned income).
(See page 7.) 
  6. Your investment income must be $3,100 or less.
(See page 7.) 
  7. You must have earned income.
(See page 9.)
  8. Your child must meet the relationship, age, residency, and joint return tests. (See page 12.) 
  9. Your qualifying child cannot be used by more than one person to claim the EIC.
(See page 16.) 
  10. You cannot be a qualifying child of another person. (See page 20.)
  11. You must be at least age 25 but under age 65.
(See page 21.)
  12. You cannot be the dependent of another person.
(See page 21.)
  13. You cannot be a qualifying child of another person.
(See page 22.)
  14. You must have lived in the United States more than half of the year.
(See page 23.)
  15. Your earned income must be less than:
• $43,279
($48,279 for married filing jointly) if you have three or more qualifying children,

• $40,295
($45,295 for married filing jointly) if you have two qualifying children,

• $35,463
($40,463 for married filing jointly) if you have one qualifying child, or

• $13,440 ($18,440 for married filing jointly) if you do not have a qualifying child. (See page 24.)