EITC Tax Credit

Do you qualify for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)?  Many low-income working individuals and families qualify for EITC, and don't claim it.  You could pay less federal tax, pay no tax, or even get a tax refund.  For more information and to find out if you qualify for EITC, go to the IRS EITC Home Page.
 
Basic Qualifications

All Workers Claiming the EITC Must:

  • Have a valid Social Security number,
  • Not file as "married filing separate,"
  • Not file Form 2555 or Form 2555-EZ (related to Foreign Earned Income),
  • Meet the investment income limitation ($3,150 for tax year 2011),
  • Have earned income,
  • Not be the qualifying child of another person,
  • Generally, be a U.S. citizen or resident alien for the entire year.
 To Claim EITC With a Qualifying Child, the Child Must Pass All of the Following Tests:
  • Relationship
    • A son or daughter (including an adopted child or child placed for adoption)
    • Stepchild
    • Foster child placed by an authorized placement agency or court
    • Brother, sister,  half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister or a descendant of any of them
  • Age, at the end of the filing year, the child was:
    • Younger than the worker (or the worker's spouse if married filing jointly) and 
      • younger than 19,
      • or, younger than 24 and a full-time student
    • Any age if permanently and totally disabled
  • Residency
    • Child must live with the worker, or the worker's spouse if filing a joint return, in the United States* for more than half of the year.
  • Joint Return
    • The child can not have filed a joint return, unless the child and the child's spouse did not have a filing requirement and filed only to claim a refund.
Warning: Only one person can claim the same qualifying child for EITC and other tax benefits.  If more than one person claims the same child, IRS applies the tiebreaker rules. Read more about the tiebreaker rules here.
To Claim EITC Without a Qualifying Child, The Worker, and The Worker's Spouse If Filing A Joint Return, Must:
Have lived in the United States for more than half of the tax year,
Be at least age 25 but not age 65 or older,
Cannot qualify as the dependent of another person.
*Special rules apply for members of the Military on extended duty outside the United States.  See the Military section on the Special Rules for EITC page on irs.gov  for more information. 

1 comment:

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