You may qualify for the earned income tax credit (EITC) if you worked last year but earned a low or moderate income. EITC is a refundable tax credit, which means that even if you don't owe any tax, you can still receive a refund. To qualify for the credit, your adjusted gross income (AGI) must be below a certain amount, and you must: Have a social security number (SSN) valid for employment (if you're filing a joint return, your spouse also must have an SSN valid for employment) by the due date of your return (including extensions). If you don't have an SSN by the due date of your return (including extensions), you can't claim the EIC on either an original or an amended return, even if you later get an SSN. Any qualifying child listed on Schedule EIC (Form 1040) also must have an SSN valid for employment by the due date of your return (including extensions). If a child didn't have an SSN by the due date of your return (including extensions), you can't count that child as a qualifying child in figuring the EIC on either your original or an amended return, even if that child later gets an SSN. Beginning with the 2021 tax year, singles and married couples who have SSNs can claim the credit, even if their children don't have SSNs. In this instance, they would get the smaller credit available to childless workers. Have a filing status other than married filing separately. Beginning with the 2021 tax year, married but separated spouses can choose to be treated as not married for EITC purposes. To qualify, the spouse claiming the credit cannot file jointly with the other spouse, cannot have the same principal residence as the other spouse for at least six months out of the year and must have a qualifying child living with them for more than half the year. Be a U.S. citizen or resident alien all year, or a nonresident alien married to a U.S. citizen or resident alien and filing a joint return Not file Form 2555 (related to foreign earned income) Not have investment income over $10,300 Have earned income from employment or from self-employment Not be a qualifying child of another person (if you're filing a joint return, your spouse also can't be a qualifying child of another person) Have a qualifying child who meets the age, relationship, residency, and joint return tests, and isn't treated as the qualifying child of another person. Or, if you don't have a qualifying child, you must: be age 25 but under 65 at the end of the year, not qualify as a dependent of another person; and live in the United States for more than half of the year If you qualify for the credit, the amount of your EITC will depend on your filing status, whether you have a qualifying child, and if so, how many, and the amount of your wages and income last year. Qualifying children must be listed on Schedule EIC (Form 1040)PDF. For more information or to see if you qualify, see Publication 596, Earned Income Credit and visit Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).