EITC Multilingual Page
Earned Income Tax Credit, EITC sometimes called EIC is for persons who don't earn much money. You must work or run a business or farm to claim EITC. It is a refundable tax credit meaning even if you owe no tax or aren't required to file a tax return, you may get money back. But, you can't get EITC if you don't file a tax return. EITC, you earned it, now file, claim it, and get it.
The amount of EITC varies depending on the size of your family, your filing status and the amount of your income. EITC can make your life easier and it can mean a refund of as much as $5,891 if you are married, file a joint return and have three or more qualifying children.
Are You Eligible for EITC for Tax Year 2012?
To claim the credit, you must:
- Have earned income from working for someone else or your business or farm (certain disability retirement plan payments qualify if you are under the minimum retirement plan)
- Have earned income and adjusted gross income or AGI less than:
- $13,980 ($19,190 if married filing a joint return) with no qualifying children
- $36,920 ($42,130 if married filing a joint return) with one qualifying child
- $41,952 ($47,162 if married filing a joint return) with two qualifying children
- $45,060 ($50,270 if married filing a joint return) with three or more qualifying children
- Have investment income (such as interest) of $3,200 or less
- Not file as married filing separately
- Be a U.S. citizen or resident alien all year, or a nonresident alien married to a U.S. citizen or resident alien and filing a joint return
- Have a Social Security number (SSN) that is valid for employment
- Not be a qualifying child of another person
- Have one or more qualifying children (see "Who is a Qualifying Child" below)
Or, meet all three of the following:
- Be age 25 but under 65 at the end of the year
- Live in the United States* for more than half the year
- Not be the dependent of another person.
Who is a Qualifying Child?
To qualify, a child must pass all of the following tests:
The child must be your:
- Son or daughter, including an adopted child or child placed for adoption, or stepchild
- Foster child placed by an authorized placement agency or court
- Brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, half brother, half sister
- A descendant of any of the above
At the end of the filing year your child was:
- Younger than you and under age19 at the end of the year
- Younger than you and under age 24 at the end of the year and a full-time student
- Any age and permanently and totally disabled
The child must have lived with you in the United States* for more than half the year
- Joint Return
Your child cannot file a joint return unless your child filed the return only for a refund and your child and his or her spouse were not required to file.
*We consider U.S. military personnel on extended active duty outside the United States as living in the United States. The United States includes the 50 states and the District of Columbia.
What if I Have the Same Qualifying Child as Someone Else?
If two or more persons have the same qualifying child for EITC, dependency exemption, child tax credit, head of household filing status or credit for child and dependent care expenses, only one person can claim the child as a qualifying child for all these benefits.
If you are not the parent of the child, you must have a higher AGI, adjusted gross income, than any of the child's parents. Otherwise, you decide who claims the benefits, including the EITC, using that child.
If you cannot agree and more than one person uses the same child, the IRS applies the tie-breaker rules. Under the tie-breaker rule, the child is treated as a qualifying child only by:
- The parents, if they file a joint return
- The parent, if only one of the persons is the child's parent
- The parent with whom the child lived with the longest during the year, if two of the persons are the child's parent and they do not file a joint return together
- The parent with the highest AGI, if the child lived with each parent for the same amount of time during the year and they do not file a joint return together
- A person with the highest AGI, if no parent can claim the child as a qualifying child
- A person with the higher AGI than any parent who can also claim the child as a qualifying child but does not
What is a valid Social Security number?
You (and your spouse if you file a joint return) must have a SSN that is valid for employment to claim the EITC. Any qualifying child must also have a SSN that is valid for employment. The Social Security Administration is the only agency that issues valid SSNs. To get one, you must prove your U.S. citizenship or immigration status, age and identity.
You have a valid SSN for the EITC if you are an alien who is not a permanent resident and have a Social Security card that says VALID FOR EMPLOYMENT ONLY WITH INS/DHS AUTHORIZATION.
If you obtained your SSN only to receive a benefit, such as Medicaid, it is not valid for claiming the EITC. The Social Security card usually says NOT VALID FOR EMPLOYMENT.
If you (or your spouse if filing a return together) have an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN), you cannot use the ITIN to claim EITC. If your child has an ITIN or an adoption taxpayer identification number (ATIN), you cannot use either to claim that child for EITC.
The EITC Assistant is an easy-to-use tool. It uses a question and answer approach to help you find out if you qualify for EITC. It also helps you determine if your child or children are your qualifying children and estimates the amount of your credit.
EITC Related Multilingual Publications
|Publication 3524, EITC Eligibility Checklist - Find out if you qualify for EITC using this Yes or No checklist. Publication 3524A is a 8.5X11 inch notepad of checklists.||Publication 3524 (CN)||Publication 3524(KR)||Publication 3524 (RU)||Publication 3524 (VN)|
|Publication 3211 Reading Order, EITC Questions and Answers - Provides answers to questions you frequently ask.||Publication 3211 (CN)||Publication 3211(KR)||Publication 3211 (EN/SP)||Publication 3211 (RU)||Publication 3211(VN)|
|Publication 3535, Social Security Card Poster - Shows examples of Social Security cards that are valid for employment and those that are not.||Publication 3535 (CN)||Publication 3535 (KR)||Publication 3535 (SP)||Publication 3535 (RU)||Publication 3535 (VN)|
|Publication 4194, General EITC Requirements Poster - Shows basic EITC requirements, what to bring to your preparer and what to expect from your preparer.||Publication 4194 (CN)||Publication 4194 (KR)||Publication 4194 (SP)||Publication 4194 (RU)||Publication 4194 (VN)|
|Publication 596, Earned Income Credit - Complete guide to Earned Income Credit. Explains who can take, defines all terms used, gives tips on computing the credit and gives examples of who can take and how to compute.||Publicacion 596 (SP), Crédito por Ingreso del Trabajo|
|P4716 (EN/SP), Be Prepared to Get the EITC You Earned - Informs you of what to bring to your tax preparer to make sure your return is prepared correctly.||P4716 (EN/SP)|
|P4717 (EN/SP) Help Your Tax Preparer to get You the EITC You Earned - Talks about the importance of providing the right information to your preparer and what to expect from your preparer.||P4717 (EN/SP)|
|Publication 4808, Disability and EITC - Brochure explains and gives examples of when persons with disabilities qualify for EITC and for caretakers of person with disabilities who are eligible for EITC.||Publication 4808 (SP),La incapacidad y el EITC|