Do I Qualify for EITC?
Beginning in 2017, if you claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) on your tax return, the IRS must hold your refund until at least February 15 — even the portion not associated with EITC or ACTC. See "Take Steps Now for Tax Filing Season" for more information on refunds.
You qualify for EITC if:
you have earned income and adjusted gross income within certain limits; AND
you meet certain basic rules; AND
have a child that meets all the qualifying child rules for you, or your spouse if you file a joint return.
Use the EITC Assistant to find out your filing status, if your child is a qualifying child, if you are eligible, and estimate the amount of the credit you may get.
Social Security Number
You, your spouse and any qualifying child you list on your tax return must each have a Social Security number that is valid for employment that was issued before the due date of your return (including extensions).
You must file:
Married filing jointly
Head of household
Qualifying widow or widower
You can't claim EITC if your filing status is married filing separately.
If you, or your spouse, are a nonresident alien, see Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens, to find out if you are eligible for EITC.
Income Earned During 2016
Your tax year investment income must be $3,400 or less for the year.
Must not file Form 2555, Foreign Earned Income or Form 2555-EZ, Foreign Earned Income Exclusion.
Your total earned income must be at least $1.
Both your earned income and adjusted gross income (AGI) must be no more than:
Filing Status Qualifying Children Claimed
Zero One Two Three or more
Single Head of Household or Surviving Spouse
$14,880 $39,296 $44,648 $47,955
Married Filing Jointly
$20,430 $44,846 $50,198 $53,505
For previous years, see EITC Income Limits, Maximum Credit and Tax Law Updates.
I Have a Qualifying Child
If you, and your spouse if filing a joint return, meet the criteria above and you have a child who lives with you, you may be eligible for EITC. Each child you claim must pass the relationship, age, residency and joint return tests to be your qualifying child. See the Qualifying Child Rules for guidance.
I Don't Have a Qualifying Child
If you and your spouse, if filing a joint return, meet the basic EITC rules for everyone,you qualify for EITC if:
You resided in the United States for more than half of the year; AND
You cannot be claimed as a dependent or qualifying child on anyone else's return; AND
You must have been at least 25 but under 65 years old at the end of the tax year.