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How do I know if I qualify for the EIC?

To claim the Earned Income Credit (EIC), you must meet all these qualifications:

  • Have a valid Social Security number (SSN)
  • Be a U.S. citizen or resident alien for the entire year
  • Not filing as married filing separately
  • Not filing Form 2555 or Form 2555-EZ
  • Have earned income -- and that income can't be more than the income limit
  • Don’t have investment income over $3,300  

Also, if you're claiming the EIC for a child, the child must meet these tests:

  • Relationship
  • Age
  • Residency
  • Joint return

The child also can’t be:

  • Claimed by more than one person for the EIC
  • A qualifying child of another taxpayer

If you don't have a child, all of these must be true to qualify for the EIC:

  • You must be at least age 25 but under age 65.
  • You can't be either:
    • The dependent of another person
    • The qualifying child of another taxpayer
  • You must have lived in the United States more than 1/2 of the year.  

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