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taxmap/wpubs/p596-010.htm#en_us_publink1000167288

Chapter 3
Rules If You Do Not Have a Qualifying Child

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Use this chapter if you do not have a qualifying child and have met all the rules in chapter 1. This chapter discusses Rules 11 through 14. You must meet all four of those rules, in addition to the rules in chapters 1 and 4, to qualify for the earned income credit without a qualifying child.

You can file Form 1040, Form 1040A, or Form 1040EZ to claim the EIC without a qualifying child. If you meet all the rules in chapter 1 and this chapter, read chapter 4 to find out what to do next.

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If you have a qualifying child.(p23)


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If you meet Rule 8, you have a qualifying child. If you meet Rule 8 and do not claim the EIC with a qualifying child, you cannot claim the EIC without a qualifying child.
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Rule 11. You Must Be at Least Age 25 but Under Age 65(p23)


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Rule 11. (p23)
 Age
You must be at least age 25 but under age 65 at the end of 2009. If you are married filing a joint return, either you or your spouse must be at least age 25 but under age 65 at the end of 2009. It does not matter which spouse meets the age test, as long as one of the spouses does.
If neither you nor your spouse meets the age test, you cannot claim the EIC. Put "No" next to line 64a (Form 1040), line 41a (Form 1040A), or line 9a (Form 1040EZ).
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Death of spouse.(p23)


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If you are filing a joint return with your spouse who died in 2009, you meet the age test if your spouse was at least age 25 but under age 65 at the time of death.
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Example 1.(p23)

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Examples:(p23)
 Age
You are age 28 and unmarried. You meet the age test.
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Example 2.(p23)

You are married and filing a joint return. You are age 23 and your spouse is age 27. You meet the age test because your spouse is at least age 25 but under age 65.
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Example 3.(p23)

You are married and filing a joint return with your spouse who died in August 2009. You are age 67. Your spouse would have been age 65 in November 2009. Because your spouse was under age 65 when she died, you meet the age test.
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Rule 12. You Cannot Be the Dependent of Another Person(p23)


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Rule 12.(p23)
 Dependent of another person
If you are not filing a joint return, you meet this rule if:
If you are filing a joint return, you meet this rule if:
If you are not sure whether someone else can claim you (or your spouse if filing a joint return) as a dependent, get Publication 501 and read the rules for claiming a dependent.
If someone else can claim you (or your spouse if filing a joint return) as a dependent on his or her return, but does not, you still cannot claim the credit.
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Example 1.(p24)

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Examples:(p24)
 Dependent of another person
In 2009, you were age 25, single, and living at home with your parents. You worked and were not a student. You earned $7,500. Your parents cannot claim you as a dependent. When you file your return, you claim an exemption for yourself by not checking the "You" box on line 5 of your Form 1040EZ and by entering $9,350 on that line. You meet this rule.
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Example 2.(p24)

The facts are the same as in Example 1, except that you earned $2,000. Your parents can claim you as a dependent but decide not to. You do not meet this rule. You cannot claim the credit because your parents could have claimed you as a dependent.
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Rule 13. You Cannot Be a Qualifying Child of Another Person(p24)


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Rule 13. (p24)
 Qualifying child of another person
You are a qualifying child of another person (your parent, guardian, foster parent, etc.) if all of the following statements are true.
  1. You are that person's son, daughter, stepchild, grandchild, or foster child. Or, you are that person's brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, or stepsister (or the child or grandchild of that persons's brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, or stepsister).
  2. You were:
    1. Under age 19 at the end of the year and younger than that person (or that person's spouse, if the person files jointly),
    2. Under age 24 at the end of the year, a student, and younger than that person (or that person's spouse, if the person files jointly), or
    3. Permanently and totally disabled, regardless of age.
  3. You lived with that person in the United States for more than half of the year.
  4. You are not filing a joint return for the year (or are filing a joint return only as a claim for refund).
For more details about the tests to be a qualifying child, see Rule 8.
If you (or your spouse if filing a joint return) are a qualifying child of another person, you cannot claim the EIC. This is true even if the person for whom you are a qualifying child does not claim the EIC or meet all of the rules to claim the EIC. Put "No" next to line 64a (Form 1040), line 41a (Form 1040A), or line 9a (Form 1040EZ).
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Example.(p24)

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Example:(p24)
 Qualifying child of another person
You lived with your mother all year. You are age 26, unmarried, and permanently and totally disabled. Your only income was from a community center where you went three days a week to answer telephones. You earned $5,000 for the year and provided more than half of your own support. Because you meet the relationship, age, residency, and joint return tests. you are a qualifying child of your mother for the EIC. She can claim the EIC if she meets all the other requirements. Because you are a qualifying child of your mother, you cannot claim the EIC. This is so even if your mother cannot or does not claim the EIC.
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Rule 14. You Must Have Lived in the United States More Than Half of the Year(p25)


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Rule 14. (p25)
 Main home in United States
Your home (and your spouse's, if filing a joint return) must have been in the United States for more than half the year.
If it was not, put "No" next to line 64a (Form 1040), line 41a (Form 1040A), or line 9a (Form 1040EZ).
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United States.(p25)


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This means the 50 states and the District of Columbia. It does not include Puerto Rico or U.S. possessions such as Guam.
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Homeless shelter.(p25)


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Your home can be any location where you regularly live. You do not need a traditional home. If you lived in one or more homeless shelters in the United States for more than half the year, you meet this rule.
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Military personnel stationed outside the United States.(p25)


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U.S. military personnel stationed outside the United States on extended active duty (defined on page 14) are considered to live in the United States during that duty period for purposes of the EIC.