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IRS.gov Website
Publication 17
taxmap/pub17/p17-184.htm#en_us_publink1000174809

Part D. Figuring and Claiming the EIC(p237)

rule
Read this part if you have met all the rules in Parts A and B, or all the rules in Parts A and C.
Part D discusses Rule 15. You must meet this rule, in addition to the rules in Parts A and B, or Parts A and C, to qualify for the earned income credit.
This part of the chapter also explains how to figure the amount of your credit. You have two choices.
  1. Have the IRS figure the EIC for you. If you want to do this, see IRS Will Figure the EIC for You.
  2. Figure the EIC yourself. If you want to do this, see How To Figure the EIC Yourself.
taxmap/pub17/p17-184.htm#en_us_publink1000174817

Rule 15. Your Earned Income Must Be Less Than:(p238)

rule
Earned income generally means wages, salaries, tips, other taxable employee pay, and net earnings from self-employment. Employee pay is earned income only if it is taxable. Nontaxable employee pay, such as certain dependent care benefits and adoption benefits, is not earned income. But there is an exception for nontaxable combat pay, which you can choose to include in earned income. Earned income is explained in detail in Rule 7.
taxmap/pub17/p17-184.htm#en_us_publink1000174818

Figuring earned income.(p238)

rule
If you are self-employed, a statutory employee, or a member of the clergy or a church employee who files Schedule SE (Form 1040), you will figure your earned income when you fill out Part 4 of EIC Worksheet B in the Form 1040 instructions.
Otherwise, figure your earned income by using the worksheet in Step 5 of the Form 1040 instructions for lines 64a and 64b or the Form 1040A instructions for lines 38a and 38b, or the worksheet in Step 2 of the Form 1040EZ instructions for lines 8a and 8b.
When using one of those worksheets to figure your earned income, you will start with the amount on line 7 (Form 1040 or Form 1040A) or line 1 (Form 1040EZ). You will then reduce that amount by any amount included on that line and described in the following list:
taxmap/pub17/p17-184.htm#en_us_publink1000253258

Scholarship or fellowship grants not reported on a Form W-2.(p238)

rule
A scholarship or fellowship grant that was not reported to you on a Form W-2 is not considered earned income for the earned income credit.
taxmap/pub17/p17-184.htm#en_us_publink1000253259

Inmate's income.(p238)

rule
Amounts received for work performed while an inmate in a penal institution are not earned income for the earned income credit. This includes amounts received for work performed while in a work release program or while in a halfway house. If you received any amount for work done while an inmate in a penal institution and that amount is included in the total on line 7 (Form 1040 or Form 1040A) or line 1 (Form 1040EZ), put "PRI" and the amount on the dotted line next to line 7 (Form 1040), in the space to the left of the entry space for line 7 (Form 1040A), or in the space to the left of line 1 (Form 1040EZ).
taxmap/pub17/p17-184.htm#en_us_publink1000253260

Pension or annuity from deferred compensation plans.(p238)

rule
A pension or annuity from a nonqualified deferred compensation plan or a nongovernmental section 457 plan is not considered earned income for the earned income credit. If you received such an amount and it was included in the total on line 7 (Form 1040 or Form 1040A) or line 1 (Form 1040EZ), put "DFC" and the amount on the dotted line next to line 7 (Form 1040), in the space to the left of the entry space for line 7 (Form 1040A), or in the space to the left of line 1 (Form 1040EZ). This amount may be reported in box 11 of your Form W-2. If you received such an amount but box 11 is blank, contact your employer for the amount received as a pension or annuity.
taxmap/pub17/p17-184.htm#en_us_publink1000174819

Clergy.(p238)

rule
If you are a member of the clergy who files Schedule SE and the amount on line 2 of that schedule includes an amount that was also reported on line 7 (Form 1040), subtract that amount from the amount on line 7 (Form 1040) and enter the result in the first space of the worksheet in Step 5 of the Form 1040 instructions for lines 64a and 64b. Put "Clergy" on the dotted line next to line 64a (Form 1040).
taxmap/pub17/p17-184.htm#en_us_publink1000174820

Church employees.(p238)

rule
A church employee means an employee (other than a minister or member of a religious order) of a church or qualified church-controlled organization that is exempt from employer social security and Medicare taxes. If you received wages as a church employee and included any amount on both line 5a of Schedule SE and line 7 (Form 1040), subtract that amount from the amount on line 7 (Form 1040) and enter the result in the first space of the worksheet in Step 5 of the Form 1040 instructions for lines 64a and 64b.
taxmap/pub17/p17-184.htm#en_us_publink1000174821

IRS Will Figure
the EIC for You(p238)

rule
Deposit
If you want the IRS to figure the amount of your EIC, see chapter 30.
taxmap/pub17/p17-184.htm#en_us_publink1000174832

How To Figure the
EIC Yourself(p238)

rule
To figure the EIC yourself, use the EIC Worksheet in the instructions for the form you are using (Form 1040, Form 1040A, or Form 1040EZ). If you have a qualifying child, complete Schedule EIC and attach it to your return.
taxmap/pub17/p17-184.htm#en_us_publink1000265628

Special Instructions for Form 1040 Filers(p238)

rule
If you file Form 1040, you will need to decide whether to use EIC Worksheet A or EIC Worksheet B to figure the amount of your EIC. This section explains how to use these worksheets and how to report the EIC on your return.
taxmap/pub17/p17-184.htm#en_us_publink1000265629

EIC Worksheet A.(p238)

rule
Use EIC Worksheet A if you were not self-employed at any time in 2013 and are not a member of the clergy, a church employee who files Schedule SE, or a statutory employee filing Schedule C or C-EZ.
taxmap/pub17/p17-184.htm#en_us_publink1000265630

EIC Worksheet B.(p238)

rule
Use EIC Worksheet B if you were self-employed at any time in 2013 or are a member of the clergy, a church employee who files Schedule SE, or a statutory employee filing Schedule C or C-EZ. If any of the following situations apply to you, read the paragraph and then complete EIC Worksheet B.
taxmap/pub17/p17-184.htm#en_us_publink1000265631

Net earnings from self-employment $400 or more.(p238)

rule
If your net earnings from self-employment are $400 or more, be sure to correctly fill out Schedule SE (Form 1040) and pay the proper amount of self-employment tax. If you do not, you may not get all the EIC you are entitled to.
EIC
When figuring your net earnings from self-employment, you must claim all your allowable business expenses.
taxmap/pub17/p17-184.htm#en_us_publink1000265635

When to use the optional methods of figuring net earnings.(p238)

rule
Using the optional methods on Schedule SE to figure your net earnings from self-employment may qualify you for the EIC or give you a larger credit. If your net earnings (without using the optional methods) are less than $4,640, see the instructions for Schedule SE for details about the optional methods.
taxmap/pub17/p17-184.htm#en_us_publink1000265632

More information.(p238)

rule
If you and your spouse both have self-employment income or either of you is a statutory employee, see How To Figure the EIC Yourself in Publication 596.