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2016 EITC Income Limits, Maximum Credit Amounts and Tax Law Updates

Earned Income and AGI Limits

The tax year 2016 Earned income and adjusted gross income (AGI) must each be less than:

If filing... Qualifying Children Claimed
Zero One Two Three or more
Single, Head of Household or Widowed $14,880 $39,296 $44,648 $47,955
Married Filing Jointly $20,430 $44,846 $50,198 $53,505

Investment Income Limit

Investment income must be $3,400 or less for the year.

Maximum Credit Amounts

The maximum amount of credit for Tax Year 2016 is:

  • $6,269 with three or more qualifying children
  • $5,572 with two qualifying children
  • $3,373 with one qualifying child
  • $506 with no qualifying children

For more information on whether a child qualifies you for EITC, see:

The Protecting Americans against Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015

Made permanent the relief for married taxpayers and the expanded credit for taxpayers with three or more qualifying children.

The IRS can’t issue refunds before mid-February for tax returns with claims for the EITC and the Additional Child Tax Credit. This applies to the entire refund and not just the credit amounts. 
All Social Security numbers used to claim the EITC must be issued on or before the due date of the return (including extensions). You may not later claim the credit on a late original return or an amended return.

If the IRS disallowed your EITC claim, you may need to file the Form 8862, Information To Claim Earned Income Credit After Disallowance, to recertify before claiming the credit. If the Form 8862 is not included with your return, the IRS may reject your claim. Find more recertifying information here.

You also need to recertify the EITC at the end of the 2- or 10- year ban from claiming the credit. You recertify by completing and filing the Form 8862. If the Form 8862 is not included with your return, the IRS may reject your claim.