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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 don't 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 can't file a joint return unless the joint return is only 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 can't be your qualifying child unless you meet one of the following conditions:

  • You're entitled to claim an exemption for the child, or
  • The reason you're 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.

Additional Information:


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