Claiming EITC Without a Qualifying Child

You can claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)  if you don’t claim a qualifying child for the EITC. But, you, or your spouse if you file a joint return, must have worked for someone, or run or own a business or farm AND earned less than $20,600 during 2017.

EITC has special rules for members of the military, members of the clergy, and taxpayers with certain types of disability income or children with disabilities.

Who is Eligible

If you do not claim a child that qualifies you for EITC, you are eligible for EITC for those without a qualifying child if:

  • You (and your spouse if you file a joint return) meet all the EITC basic rules AND
  • You (and your spouse if you file a joint return) cannot be claimed as a dependent or qualifying child on anyone else's return, AND
  • You (or your spouse if you file a joint return) are at least age 25 but under age 65 years old at the end of the tax year, usually Dec. 31.

If your filing status is married filing separately, you are ineligible to claim EITC.

If you or your spouse is a nonresident alien, see Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens, for additional guidance.

Exceptions

Special EITC Rules

Special EITC rules for members of the military, members of the clergy and those receiving disability benefits.

Disability and EITC

Many persons with disabilities or persons having children with disabilities qualify for EITC.