Claiming Your EITC

If you qualify, you will claim your Earned Income Tax Credit when you file your federal tax return. To calculate the value of your EITC, you can use the Earned Income Credit Worksheet in your IRS Form 1040 instruction booklet. If you have a qualifying child, be sure to attach a Schedule EIC. You can ask the IRS to calculate your tax credit for you by noting an “EIC” on the Earned Income Credit line on your tax return.

To see if you qualify for an EITC, and how much it might be, use the IRS EITC Assistant.

Some Tips on Claiming an EITC and Tax Preparation

Keep all your W-2's and maintain a record of who you have worked for during the year. This will make things simpler when it comes time to file your taxes.

If you are on a limited income, do not pay someone to do your taxes. Use a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Center to file. Most centers can e-file your return for free. If you are self-employed, have all your receipts and a log of expenses ready for the tax preparer. To find a local VITA Center, check the Franchise Tax Board or the IRS VITA Site List.

Be sure to file your taxes, even if your income is so low that you are not legally required to file. You might be eligible for an EITC or some other tax credit. Many families with children who qualify for an EITC may also be eligible for a Child Tax Credit (CTC).

The following is a summary of the EITC requirements.

Earned Income Credit Requirements for Tax Year 2019 (filing by April 2020)

Requirements

People without a Qualifying Child

People with at least one Qualifying Child

Adjusted Gross Income

$15,570 for a single person

$21,370 for a married couple

One qualifying child:

$41,094 for a single person

$46,884 for a married couple

Two qualifying children:

$46,703 for a single person

$52,493 for a married couple

Three or more qualifying children:

$50,162 for a single person

$55,952 for a married couple

Social Security Number

Social Security Number valid for employment

Social Security Number valid for employment

Tax Status

Joint tax return if married, unless separated for more than 6 months

Joint tax return if married, unless separated for more than 6 months

Citizenship

Must be a U.S. citizen or legal resident. Or if you’re a nonresident alien, you must be married to a U.S. citizen or legal resident and file a joint tax return

Must be a U.S. citizen or legal resident. Or if you’re a nonresident alien, you must be married to a U.S. citizen or legal resident and file a joint tax return

Foreign Income

Cannot claim foreign income or a foreign housing deduction using Form 2555 or Form 2555EZ

Cannot claim foreign income or a foreign housing deduction using Form 2555 or Form 2555EZ

Investment Income

Cannot have investment income that exceeds $3,600

Cannot have investment income that exceeds $3,600

Earned Income

Must have earned income

Must have earned income

Relationship

Does not apply

The child must be your son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendent of any of these (for example, grandchild, niece, or nephew)

Age

Must be at least 25 years old at the end of the tax year, and

Must be under age 65 at the end of the tax year

Adult:

No age requirements

Children:

Under age 19 at end of the year

Under age 24 at the end of the year and a full-time student, or

Any age if permanently and totally disabled

Residency

Must live in the U.S. for more than half of the year

Must live in the U.S. for more than half of the year, some exceptions apply

Qualifying Child

Cannot be the qualifying child of another person

Must have at least one qualifying child

Each qualifying child can only be used by one family member when filing for the credit

Dependent Child

Cannot be the dependent of another person

Cannot be the dependent of another person

Tax Forms

1040

o have IRS figure the amount of your credit, enter “EIC” on the Earned Income Credit line of your tax form

1040

AND

Schedule EIC

To have IRS figure the amount of your credit, enter “EIC” on the Earned Income Credit line of your tax form