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Publication 596



Reporting advance payments of EIC received in 2010.(p5)

If you received advance payments of EIC in 2010, you must file Form 1040 or Form 1040A to report the payments. Your Form W-2, box 9, (as shown in Figure 1) will show the amount you received. Report the amount on line 59 (Form 1040) or line 36 (Form 1040A). If filing Form 1040, check box a on line 59.

Figure 1. Reporting Advance EIC

Figure 1. Reporting Advance EIC Text DescriptionFigure 1. Reporting Advance EIC  

Increased EIC on certain joint returns.(p5)

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.

Earned income credit has no effect on certain welfare benefits.(p5)

Any refund you receive because of the EIC and any advance EIC payments you receive will not be considered income when determining whether you are eligible for the following benefit programs, or how much you can receive from these programs. However, if the amounts you receive are not spent within a certain period of time, they may count as an asset (or resource) and affect your eligibility. Temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) benefits may be affected. Please check with your state.

Do not overlook your state credit.(p6)

If you can claim the EIC on your federal income tax return, you may be able to take a similar credit on your state or local income tax return. For a list of states that offer a state EIC, go to

EIC questioned by IRS.(p6)

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.

Spanish version of Publication 596.(p6)

You can order Publicación 596SP, Crédito por Ingreso del Trabajo, from the IRS. It is a Spanish translation of Publication 596. See How To Get Tax Help in the Appendix to find out how to order this and other IRS forms and publications.

Photographs of missing children.(p6)

The Internal Revenue Service is a proud partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Photographs of missing children selected by the Center may appear in this publication on pages that would otherwise be blank. You can help bring these children home by looking at the photographs and calling 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) if you recognize a child.

Comments and suggestions.(p6)

We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions.
You can write to us at the following address:  

         Internal Revenue Service 
        Individual Forms and Publications Branch 
        1111 Constitution Ave. NW, IR-6526 
        Washington, DC 20224

We respond to many letters by telephone. Therefore, it would be helpful if you would include your daytime phone number, including the area code, in your correspondence.
You can email us at * (The asterisk must be included in the address.) Please put "Publications Comment" on the subject line. You can also send us comments from, select "Comment on Tax Forms and Publications" under "Information about."
Although we cannot respond individually to each comment received, we do appreciate your feedback and will consider your comments as we revise our tax products.
Ordering forms and publications.(p6)
Visit to download forms and publications, call 1-800-829-3676, or write to the address below and receive a response within 10 days after your request is received.

        Internal Revenue Service 
        1201 N. Mitsubishi Motorway 
        Bloomington, IL 61705-6613

Tax questions.(p6)
If you have a tax question, check the information available on or call 1-800-829-1040. We cannot answer tax questions sent to either of the above addresses.