Claiming the EITC Without a Qualifying Child

 

You may be eligible to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) if you don’t claim a qualifying child for the EITC. But, you (or your spouse if filing a joint return) must have earned income of less than $15,570 during 2019 ($21,370 if you file a joint return).

The 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 who qualifies you for the EITC, you are eligible for EITC for those without a qualifying child if:

  • You (and your spouse if filing a joint return) meet all of the EITC basic rules AND
  • You (and your spouse if filing a joint return) have your main home in the United States for more than half of the tax year, AND
  • You (and your spouse if filing a joint return) cannot be claimed as a dependent or qualifying child on anyone else's return, AND
  • You (or your spouse if filing 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 the EITC.

If you or your spouse is a nonresident alien for any part of the year, you may not claim the EITC unless your filing status is married filing jointly. You may use that filing status only if one spouse is a U.S. citizen or resident alien and you choose to treat the nonresident spouse as a U.S. resident. See Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens, for additional guidance.

Exceptions

Special EITC Rules

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

Disability and the EITC

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