Special rules apply when you calculate the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) if you’re a:

Military

If you’re a member of the military and claim the EITC, there are 2 additional rules if you:

Nontaxable Military Pay

If you or your spouse got nontaxable pay as a member of the Armed Forces, you don’t have to include it as earned income on your federal taxes.

If you and your spouse do choose to include your nontaxable pay as earned income for the EITC, you may owe less tax and get a larger refund. The person who includes your nontaxable pay as earned income must include all of it.

Calculate your taxes both ways and choose the one that works the best for you. Use the Qualification Assistant.

Nontaxable Pay Definition

Nontaxable pay includes:

To find the amount of your nontaxable combat pay, see your Form W-2, box 12 with code Q.

How to Include Nontaxable Pay When You Claim the EITC

There are 4 ways you can include nontaxable pay when you claim the EITC. You can:

  • Choose to include all your nontaxable pay while your spouse doesn’t include any of their nontaxable combat pay
  • Choose to include none of your nontaxable pay while your spouse includes all their nontaxable combat pay
  • Both choose to include all your nontaxable pay
  • Both choose not to include any of your nontaxable pay

For more examples, see Nontaxable Combat Pay in Publication 596, Earned Income Credit.

Military Personnel Stationed Outside the United States

We consider members of the military on extended active duty outside the Unites States to have their main home in the United States for tax purposes.


For a definition of extended active duty, see Publication 596, Earned Income Credit.

Clergy Member or Minister

If you are a clergy member or minister, you must:

Minister's Housing

If the church provided housing to you as part of your minister’s pay, you should include the rental value of the home or housing allowance as part of your earned income from self-employment for the EITC.

The rental value of the home is the money the church would get if they charged you rent.

If you have an approved Form 4361 or Form 4029, you do not need to do this.

What Counts as Income for a Minister

You may file a request for your income to be exempt from Social Security taxes. These forms are:

Employee Minister Income

Even if you have an approved form to exempt your income from Social Security taxes, if you get income for working as a minister who is an employee, count it as earned income. This income includes:

  • Wages
  • Salaries
  • Tips
  • Other taxable employee compensation

To calculate your earned income, don’t subtract losses on Schedule C, C-EZ or F from wages on line 7 of Form 1040.

Non-Employee Minister Income

If you get income for working as a minister who is not an employee, don’t count it as earned income.  This income includes:

  • Self-employed wages
  • Fees for performing marriages
  • Honoraria for delivering speeches

For more information about ministers and earned income, see Publication 596, Earned Income Credit.

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