A good example of an earned-income credit table or chart can be found as part of Publication 596 Additional Material at the Internal Revenue Service website. A taxpayer figures out the amount he can claim as an earned-income credit by using this chart.
The earned-income credit that a taxpayer may claim depends on various factors, including income, the category under which he is filing and the number of qualifying children claimed, reports the IRS. The IRS warns that an earned-income credit table should not be confused with a tax table. It is only valid for calculating the amount of earned-income credit that is entered when filing the year's taxes.
The chart has 10 columns, as reported by the IRS. The first two columns delineate the range of dollar values, as calculated on the earned-income credit worksheet, that guide a taxpayer to the proper row among the columns, where he can find the amount of the earned-income credit to claim while filing. The other eight columns show the earned-income credit amounts as separated by two types of tax filers single, head of household or qualifying widow/widower and married filing jointly and the number of qualifying children claimed. Publication 596 details what counts as a qualifying child.