To claim the EITC with a qualifying child, you must have one or more qualifying children. A qualifying child is a child who meets certain relationship, residency, and age requirements. To meet the relationship test, the child must be your:
- Son, daughter, stepson, stepdaughter, or a descendant of any of them,
- Brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant of any of them, or
- Eligible foster child (a child placed with you by an authorized placement agency, including a child placed by a Indian Tribal Government or Indian Tribal organization authorized to place Indian children).
An adopted child (or a child placed with you for adoption by an authorized placement agency) is treated as a biological child.
To meet the residency test, the child must have lived with you in the United States for more than half the tax year. Military personnel stationed outside the United States on extended active duty are considered to live in the United States during that period for EITC purposes.
To meet the age test, the child must be under age 19 at the end of the taxable year, or under age 24 at the end of the taxable year and a full–time student during any part of any 5 months during the taxable year, or any age if permanently and totally disabled. Refer to Chapter 2, Rules if you have a qualifying child, in Publication 596 (PDF) for exceptions to the time your child must have lived with you.