skip navigation

Search Help
Navigation Help

Tax Map Index
ABCDEFGHI
JKLMNOPQR
STUVWXYZ#

International
Tax Topic Index

Affordable Care Act
Tax Topic Index

FAQs
Forms
Publications
Tax Topics

Comments
About Tax Map

IRS.gov Website
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink100090242
Publication 596

Earned Income Credit (EIC)

rule

Future Developments(p2)


For the latest information about developments related to Publication 596, such as legislation enacted after it was published, go to www.irs.gov/pub596.

What is the EIC?(p2)


The earned income credit (EIC) is a tax credit for certain people who work and have earned income under $51,567. 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.

Can I Claim the EIC?(p2)


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:

• $46,227 ($51,567 for married filing jointly) if you have three or more qualifying children,

• $43,038 ($48,378 for married filing jointly) if you have two qualifying children,

• $37,870 ($43,210 for married filing jointly) if you have one qualifying child, or

• $14,340 ($19,680 for married filing jointly) if you do not have a qualifying child.
2. You must have a valid social security number.

3.Your filing status cannot be Married filing separately.

4. You must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien all year.

5. You cannot file Form 2555 or Form 2555-EZ (relating to foreign earned income).

6. Your investment income must be $3,300 or less.

7.You must have earned income.
8. Your child must meet the relationship, age, residency, and joint return tests.
  
9. Your qualifying child cannot be used by more than one person to claim the EIC.

10. You cannot be a qualifying child of another person.
11. You must be at least age 25 but under age 65.

12. You cannot be the dependent of another person.

13. You cannot be a qualifying child of another person.

14. You must have lived in the United States more than half of the year.
15. Your earned income must be less than:

• $46,227 ($51,567 for married filing jointly) if you have three or more qualifying children,

• $43,038 ($48,378 for married filing jointly) if you have two qualifying children,

• $37,870 ($43,210 for married filing jointly) if you have one qualifying child, or

• $14,340 ($19,680 for married filing jointly) if you do not have a qualifying child.

Do I Need This Publication?(p2)


Certain people who file Form 1040 must use Worksheet 1 in this publication, instead of Step 2 in their Form 1040 instructions, when they are checking whether they can take the EIC. You are one of those people if any of the following statements are true for 2013.
If none of the statements above apply to you, your tax form instructions have all the information you need to find out if you can claim the EIC and to figure the amount of your EIC. You do not need this publication. But you can read it to find out whether you can take the EIC and to learn more about the EIC.

Do I Have To Have A Child To Qualify For The EIC?(p2)


No, you can qualify for the EIC without a qualifying child if you are at least age 25 but under age 65 and your earned income is less than $14,340 ($19,680 if married filing jointly). See chapter 3.

How Do I Figure the Amount of EIC?(p3)


If you can claim the EIC, you can either have the IRS figure the amount of your credit, or you can figure it yourself. To figure it yourself, you can complete a worksheet in the instructions for the form you file. To find out how to have the IRS figure it for you, see chapter 4.

How Can I Quickly Locate Specific information?(p3)


You can use the index to look up specific information. In most cases, index entries will point you to headings, tables, or a worksheet.

Is There Help Online?(p3)


Yes. You can use the EITC Assistant at www.irs.gov/eitc to find out if you may be eligible for the credit. The EITC Assistant is available in English and Spanish.

What's New for 2013(p3)


Earned income amount is more. The maximum amount of income you can earn and still get the credit has increased. You may be able to take the credit if:
Your adjusted gross income also must be less than the amount in the above list that applies to you. For details, see Rules 1 and 15.
Investment income amount is more. The maximum amount of investment income you can have and still get the credit has increased to $3,300. See Rule 6—Your Investment Income Must Be $3,300 or Less.

Reminders(p3)


taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297291
Increased EIC on certain joint returns. (p3)
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.
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297292
Earned income credit has no effect on certain welfare benefits.(p3)
Any refund you receive because of the EIC cannot be counted as income when determining whether you or anyone else is eligible for benefits or assistance, or how much you or anyone else can receive, under any federal program or under any state or local program financed in whole or in part with federal funds. These programs include the following.
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
  • Medicaid.
  • Supplemental security income (SSI).
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps).
  • Low-income housing.
In addition, when determining eligibility, the refund cannot be counted as a resource for at least 12 months after you receive it. Check with your local benefit coordinator to find out if your refund will affect your benefits.
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297293
Do not overlook your state credit.(p3)
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 www.irs.gov/eitc.
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297294
EIC questioned by IRS.(p3)
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, etc. The process of establishing your eligibility will delay your refund.
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297298
Spanish version of Publication 596.(p3)
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 to find out how to order this and other IRS forms and publications.
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297299
Photographs of missing children.(p3)
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.
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297324
Comments and suggestions.(p3)
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 send your comments from www.irs.gov/formspubs/. Click on "More Information" and then on "Comment on Tax Forms and Publications."
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.
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297325
Ordering forms and publications.(p4)
Visit www.irs.gov/formspubs/ to download forms and publications, call 1-800-TAX-FORM (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


taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297326
Tax questions.(p4)
If you have a tax question, check the information available on IRS.gov or call 1-800-829-1040. We cannot answer tax questions sent to either of the above addresses.
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297346

Chapter 1—Rules for Everyone(p4)

rule
This chapter discusses Rules 1 through 7. You must meet all seven rules to qualify for the earned income credit. If you do not meet all seven rules, you cannot get the credit and you do not need to read the rest of the publication.
If you meet all seven rules in this chapter, then read either chapter 2 or chapter 3 (whichever applies) for more rules you must meet.
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297442

Rule 1—Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) Limits(p4)

rule
Your adjusted gross income (AGI) must be less than:
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297348

Adjusted gross income (AGI). (p4)

rule
AGI is the amount on line 4 of Form 1040EZ, line 22 of Form 1040A, or line 38 of Form 1040.
If your AGI is equal to or more than the applicable limit listed above, you cannot claim the EIC. You do not need to read the rest of this publication.
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297349

Example—AGI is more than limit.(p4)

Your AGI is $38,550, you are single, and you have one qualifying child. You cannot claim the EIC because your AGI is not less than $37,870. However, if your filing status was married filing jointly, you might be able to claim the EIC because your AGI is less than $43,210.
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297350

Community property. (p4)

rule
If you are married, but qualify to file as head of household under special rules for married taxpayers living apart (see Rule 3), and live in a state that has community property laws, your AGI includes that portion of both your and your spouse's wages that you are required to include in gross income. This is different from the community property rules that apply under Rule 7.
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297446

Rule 2—You Must Have a Valid Social Security Number (SSN)(p4)

rule
To claim the EIC, you (and your spouse, if filing a joint return) must have a valid SSN issued by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Any qualifying child listed on Schedule EIC also must have a valid SSN. (See Rule 8 if you have a qualifying child.)
If your social security card (or your spouse's, if filing a joint return) says "Not valid for employment" and your SSN was issued so that you (or your spouse) could get a federally funded benefit, you cannot get the EIC. An example of a federally funded benefit is Medicaid. If you have a card with the legend "Not valid for employment" and your immigration status has changed so that you are now a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, ask the SSA for a new social security card without the legend. If you get the new card after you have already filed your return, you can file an amended return on Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to claim the EIC.
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297353
U.S. citizen. (p4)
If you were a U.S. citizen when you received your SSN, you have a valid SSN.
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297354
Valid for work only with INS authorization or DHS authorization. (p4)
If your social security card reads "Valid for work only with INS authorization" or "Valid for work only with DHS authorization," you have a valid SSN, but only if that authorization is still valid.
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297355
SSN missing or incorrect. (p4)
If an SSN for you or your spouse is missing from your tax return or is incorrect, you may not get the EIC.
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297356

Other taxpayer identification number. (p4)

rule
You cannot get the EIC if, instead of an SSN, you (or your spouse, if filing a joint return) have an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN). ITINs are issued by the Internal Revenue Service to noncitizens who cannot get an SSN.
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297357

No SSN. (p4)

rule
If you do not have a valid SSN, put "No" next to line 64a (Form 1040), line 38a (Form 1040A), or line 8a (Form 1040EZ). You cannot claim the EIC.
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297358
Getting an SSN. (p4)
If you (or your spouse, if filing a joint return) do not have an SSN, you can apply for one by filing Form SS-5 with the SSA. You can get Form SS-5 online at www.socialsecurity.gov, from your local SSA office, or by calling the SSA at 1-800-772-1213.
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297359
Filing deadline approaching and still no SSN. (p5)
If the filing deadline is approaching and you still do not have an SSN, you have two choices.
  1. Request an automatic 6-month extension of time to file your return. You can get this extension by filing Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. For more information, see the instructions for Form 4868.
  2. File the return on time without claiming the EIC. After receiving the SSN, file an amended return, Form 1040X, claiming the EIC. Attach a filled-in Schedule EIC, Earned Income Credit, if you have a qualifying child.
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297448

Rule 3—Your Filing Status Cannot Be "Married Filing Separately"(p5)

rule
If you are married, you usually must file a joint return to claim the EIC. Your filing status cannot be "Married filing separately."
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297431

Spouse did not live with you.(p5)

rule
If you are married and your spouse did not live in your home at any time during the last 6 months of the year, you may be able to file as head of household, instead of married filing separately. In that case, you may be able to claim the EIC. For detailed information about filing as head of household, see Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information.
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297438

Rule 4—You Must Be a U.S. Citizen or Resident Alien All Year(p5)

rule
If you (or your spouse, if married) were a nonresident alien for any part of the year, you cannot claim the earned income credit unless your filing status is married filing jointly. You can use that filing status only if one spouse is a U.S. citizen or resident alien and you choose to treat the nonresident spouse as a U.S. resident. If you make this choice, you and your spouse are taxed on your worldwide income. If you need more information on making this choice, get Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens. If you (or your spouse, if married) were a nonresident alien for any part of the year and your filing status is not married filing jointly, enter "No" on the dotted line next to line 64a (Form 1040) or in the space to the left of line 38a (Form 1040A).
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297450

Rule 5—You Cannot File Form 2555 or Form 2555-EZ(p5)

rule
You cannot claim the earned income credit if you file Form 2555, Foreign Earned Income, or Form 2555-EZ, Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. You file these forms to exclude income earned in foreign countries from your gross income, or to deduct or exclude a foreign housing amount. U.S. possessions are not foreign countries. See Publication 54, Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad, for more detailed information.
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297452

Rule 6—Your Investment Income Must Be $3,300 or Less(p5)

rule
You cannot claim the earned income credit unless your investment income is $3,300 or less. If your investment income is more than $3,300, you cannot claim the credit.
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297454

Form 1040EZ. (p5)

rule
If you file Form 1040EZ, your investment income is the total of the amount on line 2 and the amount of any tax-exempt interest you wrote to the right of the words "Form 1040EZ" on line 2.
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297455

Form 1040A. (p5)

rule
If you file Form 1040A, your investment income is the total of the amounts on lines 8a (taxable interest), 8b (tax-exempt interest), 9a (ordinary dividends), and 10 (capital gain distributions) on that form.
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297456

Form 1040. (p5)

rule
If you file Form 1040, use Worksheet 1 in this chapter to figure your investment income.
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297462
Pencil

Worksheet 1. Investment Income If You Are Filing Form 1040

Use this worksheet to figure investment income for the earned income credit when you file Form 1040.

Interest and Dividends    
1.Enter any amount from Form 1040, line 8a1.
2.Enter any amount from Form 1040, line 8b, plus any amount on Form 8814, line 1b2.
3.Enter any amount from Form 1040, line 9a3.
4.Enter the amount from Form 1040, line 21, that is from Form 8814 if you are filing that form to report your child's interest and dividend income on your return. (If your child received an Alaska Permanent Fund dividend, use Worksheet 2 in this chapter to figure the amount to enter on this line.) 4.
Capital Gain Net Income    
5.Enter the amount from Form 1040, line 13. If the amount on that line is a loss, enter -0-5.  
6.Enter any gain from Form 4797, Sales of Business Property, line 7. If the amount on that line is a loss, enter -0-. (But, if you completed lines 8 and 9 of Form 4797, enter the amount from line 9 instead.) 6.  
7.Substract line 6 of this worksheet from line 5 of this worksheet. (If the result is less than zero, enter -0-.)7.
Royalties and Rental Income From Personal Property    
8.Enter any royalty income from Schedule E, line 23b, plus any income from the rental of personal property shown on Form 1040, line 21 8.  
9.Enter any expenses from Schedule E, line 20, related to royalty income, plus any expenses from the rental of personal property deducted on Form 1040, line 36 9.  
10.Subtract the amount on line 9 of this worksheet from the amount on line 8. (If the result is less than zero, enter -0-.)10.
Passive Activities    
11.Enter the total of any net income from passive activities (such as income included on Schedule E, line 26, 29a (col. (g)), 34a (col. (d)), or 40). (See instructions below for lines 11 and 12.) 11.  
12.Enter the total of any losses from passive activities (such as losses included on Schedule E, line 26, 29b (col. (f)), 34b (col. (c)), or 40). (See instructions below for lines 11 and 12.) 12.  
13.Combine the amounts on lines 11 and 12 of this worksheet. (If the result is less than zero, enter -0-.)13.
14.Add the amounts on lines 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 10, and 13. Enter the total. This is your investment income14.
15.Is the amount on line 14 more than $3,300?
Yes. You cannot take the credit.
No. Go to Step 3 of the Form 1040 instructions for lines 64a and 64b to find out if you can take the credit (unless you are using this publication to find out if you can take the credit; in that case, go to Rule 7, next).
  
 
Instructions for lines 11 and 12. In figuring the amount to enter on lines 11 and 12, do not take into account any royalty income (or loss) included on line 26 of Schedule E or any amount included in your earned income. To find out if the income on line 26 or line 40 of Schedule E is from a passive activity, see the Schedule E instructions. If any of the rental real estate income (or loss) included on Schedule E, line 26, is not from a passive activity, print "NPA" and the amount of that income (or loss) on the dotted line next to line 26.
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297665
Pencil

Worksheet 2. Worksheet for Line 4 of Worksheet 1

Complete this worksheet only if Form 8814 includes an Alaska Permanent Fund dividend.

Note. Fill out a separate Worksheet 2 for each Form 8814.   
1.Enter the amount from Form 8814, line 2a1.
2.Enter the amount from Form 8814, line 2b2.
3.Subtract line 2 from line 13.
4.Enter the amount from Form 8814, line 1a4.
5.Add lines 3 and 45.
6.Enter the amount of the child's Alaska Permanent Fund dividend6.
7.Divide line 6 by line 5. Enter the result as a decimal (rounded to at least three places)7.
8.Enter the amount from Form 8814, line 128.
9.Multiply line 7 by line 89.
10.Subtract line 9 from line 8. Enter the result on line 4 of Worksheet 110.
 (If filing more than one Form 8814, enter on line 4 of Worksheet 1 the total of the amounts on line 10 of all Worksheets 2.)   
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297666

Example—completing Worksheet 2. (p7)

Your 10-year-old child has taxable interest income of $400, an Alaska Permanent Fund dividend of $1,000, and ordinary dividends of $1,100, of which $500 are qualified dividends. You choose to report this income on your return. You enter $400 on line 1a of Form 8814, $2,100 ($1,000 + $1,100) on line 2a, and $500 on line 2b. After completing lines 4 through 11, you enter $400 on line 12 of Form 8814 and line 21 of Form 1040. On Worksheet 2, you enter $2,100 on line 1, $500 on line 2, $1,600 on line 3, $400 on line 4, $2,000 on line 5, $1,000 on line 6, 0.500 on line 7, $400 on line 8, $200 on line 9, and $200 on line 10. You then enter $200 on line 4 of Worksheet 1.
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297667

Rule 7—You Must Have Earned Income(p7)

rule
This credit is called the "earned income" credit because, to qualify, you must work and have earned income. If you are married and file a joint return, you meet this rule if at least one spouse works and has earned income. If you are an employee, earned income includes all the taxable income you get from your employer.
Rule 15 has information that will help you figure the amount of your earned income. If you are self-employed or a statutory employee, you will figure your earned income on EIC Worksheet B in the Form 1040 instructions.
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297669

Earned Income(p7)

rule
Earned income includes all of the following types of income.
  1. Wages, salaries, tips, and other taxable employee pay. 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, as explained later in this chapter.
  2. Net earnings from self-employment.
  3. Gross income received as a statutory employee.
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297671

Wages, salaries, and tips. (p7)

rule
Wages, salaries, and tips you receive for working are reported to you on Form W-2, in box 1. You should report these on line 1 (Form 1040EZ) or line 7 (Forms 1040A and 1040).
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297672

Nontaxable combat pay election. (p7)

rule
You can elect to include your nontaxable combat pay in earned income for the earned income credit. The amount of your nontaxable combat pay should be shown on your Form W-2, in box 12, with code Q. Electing to include nontaxable combat pay in earned income may increase or decrease your EIC. For details, see Nontaxable combat pay in chapter 4.
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297673

Net earnings from self-employment. (p7)

rule
You may have net earnings from self-employment if:
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297674
Minister's housing. (p7)
The rental value of a home or a housing allowance provided to a minister as part of the minister's pay generally is not subject to income tax but is included in net earnings from self-employment. For that reason, it is included in earned income for the EIC (except in the cases described in Approved Form 4361 or Form 4029, below).
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297675

Statutory employee. (p7)

rule
You are a statutory employee if you receive a Form W-2 on which the "Statutory employee" box (box 13) is checked. You report your income and expenses as a statutory employee on Schedule C or C-EZ (Form 1040).
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297676

Strike benefits. (p7)

rule
Strike benefits paid by a union to its members are earned income.
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297682

Approved Form 4361 or Form 4029(p7)

rule
This section is for persons who have an approved:
Each approved form exempts certain income from social security taxes. Each form is discussed here in terms of what is or is not earned income for the EIC.
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297683

Form 4361. (p7)

rule
Whether or not you have an approved Form 4361, amounts you received for performing ministerial duties as an employee count as earned income. This includes wages, salaries, tips, and other taxable employee compensation. A nontaxable housing allowance or the nontaxable rental value of a home is not earned income. Also, amounts you received for performing ministerial duties, but not as an employee, do not count as earned income. Examples include fees for performing marriages and honoraria for delivering speeches.
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297684

Form 4029. (p7)

rule
Whether or not you have an approved Form 4029, all wages, salaries, tips, and other taxable employee compensation count as earned income. However, amounts you received as a self-employed individual do not count as earned income. Also, in figuring earned income, do not subtract losses on Schedule C, C-EZ, or F from wages on line 7 of Form 1040.
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297685

Disability Benefits(p7)

rule
If you retired on disability, taxable benefits you receive under your employer's disability retirement plan are considered earned income until you reach minimum retirement age. Minimum retirement age generally is the earliest age at which you could have received a pension or annuity if you were not disabled. You must report your taxable disability payments on line 7 of either Form 1040 or Form 1040A until you reach minimum retirement age.
Beginning on the day after you reach minimum retirement age, payments you receive are taxable as a pension and are not considered earned income. Report taxable pension payments on Form 1040, lines 16a and 16b, or Form 1040A, lines 12a and 12b.
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297686

Disability insurance payments. (p8)

rule
Payments you received from a disability insurance policy that you paid the premiums for are not earned income. It does not matter whether you have reached minimum retirement age. If this policy is through your employer, the amount may be shown in box 12 of your Form W-2 with code "J."
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297687

Income That Is Not Earned Income(p8)

rule
Examples of items that are not earned income include interest and dividends, pensions and annuities, social security and railroad retirement benefits (including disability benefits), alimony and child support, welfare benefits, workers' compensation benefits, unemployment compensation (insurance), nontaxable foster care payments, and veterans' benefits, including VA rehabilitation payments. Do not include any of these items in your earned income.
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297688

Earnings while an inmate. (p8)

rule
Amounts received for work performed while an inmate in a penal institution are not earned income when figuring the earned income credit. This includes amounts for work performed while in a work release program or while in a halfway house.
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297689

Workfare payments. (p8)

rule
Nontaxable workfare payments are not earned income for the EIC. These are cash payments certain people receive from a state or local agency that administers public assistance programs funded under the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program in return for certain work activities such as (1) work experience activities (including remodeling or repairing public housing) if sufficient private sector employment is not available, or (2) community service program activities.
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297690

Community property. (p8)

rule
If you are married, but qualify to file as head of household under special rules for married taxpayers living apart (see Rule 3), and live in a state that has community property laws, your earned income for the EIC does not include any amount earned by your spouse that is treated as belonging to you under those laws. That amount is not earned income for the EIC, even though you must include it in your gross income on your income tax return. Your earned income includes the entire amount you earned, even if part of it is treated as belonging to your spouse under your state's community property laws.
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297691
Nevada, Washington, and California domestic partners. (p8)
If you are a registered domestic partner in Nevada, Washington, or California, the same rules apply. Your earned income for the EIC does not include any amount earned by your partner. Your earned income includes the entire amount you earned. For details, see Publication 555.
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297692

Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) payments. (p8)

rule
If you were receiving social security retirement benefits or social security disability benefits at the time you received any CRP payments, your CRP payments are not earned income for the EIC.
taxmap/pubs/p596-000.htm#en_us_publink1000297693

Nontaxable military pay. (p8)

rule
Nontaxable pay for members of the Armed Forces is not considered earned income for the EIC. Examples of nontaxable military pay are combat pay, the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH), and the Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS). See Publication 3, Armed Forces' Tax Guide, for more information.
Tax Tip
Combat pay. You can elect to include your nontaxable combat pay in earned income for the EIC. See Nontaxable combat pay in chapter 4.