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Qualifying Child Rules

Question: Must I be entitled to claim a child as a dependent to claim the earned income credit based on the child being my qualifying child?

Answer:

You do not have to be entitled to claim the child as a dependent to claim the earned income credit based on the child being your qualifying child. However, the child cannot file a joint return for the year except as a claim for refund of income tax withheld or estimated tax paid). If your qualifying child was married at the end of the year, he or she cannot be your qualifying child unless the following conditions are met:

  • You are entitled to claim an exemption for the child, or
  • The reason you are not entitled to claim an exemption for the child is that you released a claim to a dependency exemption for the child under the special rule for divorced or separated parents or parents who live apart.

For more information, refer to Qualifying Child in Publication 596, Earned Income Credit.


Category: Earned Income Tax Credit
Subcategory: Qualifying Child Rules

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The OMB number for this study is 1545-1432.
If you have any comments regarding this study, please write to:
IRS, Tax Products Coordinating Committee
SE:W:CAR:MP:T:T:SP
1111 Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20224