How Do You Determine If You Qualify for the IRS Earned Income Credit?


Quick Answer

A taxpayer can use the EITC Assistant on the IRS website to determine if she qualifies for the IRS earned income credit, according to the IRS. To qualify for the credit, she must either file as single, head of household, married filing jointly, or qualifying widow(er), as of 2015.

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Full Answer

The EITC Assistant is available in English and Spanish and for multiple tax years, explains the IRS. A person who does not know her filing status can use the Interactive Tax Assistant to determine that before moving on to the EITC Assistant. Basic qualifying rules including meeting the filing status criteria and having valid Social Security numbers for people on the tax return. A child may qualify if he passes residency, age and other tests. Couples without children may qualify if they lived in the United States for more than half the year, another return does not claim them as a dependent or qualifying child, and they were at least 25 years old and younger than 65 when the tax year ended.

Income limits vary depending on the tax year, according to the IRS. A taxpayer cannot claim income he received for work he did while he was an inmate, in a work release program or living in a halfway house. Members of the military and clergy, as well as people who get disability benefits or who have been affected by disasters, may qualify for special EITC rules.

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