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Publication 596
taxmap/wpubs/p596-020.htm#en_us_publink1000167384

EIC Eligibility Checklist

rule
taxmap/wpubs/p596-020.htm#en_us_publink1000167385
You may claim the EIC if you answer "Yes" to all the following questions.*
  YesNo
1. Is your AGI less than:
  • $13,460 ($18,470 for married filing jointly) if you do not have a qualifying child,
  • $35,535 ($40,545 for married filing jointly) if you have one qualifying child,
  • $40,363 ($45,373 for married filing jointly) if you have two qualifying children, or
  • $43,352 ($48,362 for married filing jointly) if you have more than two qualifying children?
 (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 $3,100 or less? (See Rule 6.)
6. Is your total earned income at least $1 but less than:
  • $13,460 ($18,470 for married filing jointly) if you do not have a qualifying child,
  • $35,535 ($40,545 for married filing jointly) if you have one qualifying child,
  • $40,363 ($45,373 for married filing jointly) if you have two qualifying children, or
  • $43,352 ($48,362 for married filing jointly) if you have more than two qualifying children?
 (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 relationship, age, residency, and joint return tests for a qualifying child? (See Rule 8.)
9. Is your child a qualifying child only for you? Answer "Yes" if (a) your qualifying child does not meet the tests to be a qualifying child of any other person or (b) your qualifying child meets the tests to be a qualifying child of another person but you are the person entitled to treat the child as a qualifying child under the tiebreaker rules explained in Rule 9. Answer "No" if the other person is the one entitled to treat the child as a qualifying child under the tiebreaker rules.
10. Were you (or your spouse if filing a joint return) at least age 25 but under age 65 at the end of 2010? (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 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.