Question

Can I claim a family member who lives with me, but is not my child, as a nondependent for Earned Income Credit (EIC) purposes?

Answer

Maybe. You might be able to claim a family member who’s not your child or dependent.

To be your qualifying child for Earned Income Credit (EIC) purposes, the family member must:

  • Be either:
    • Under age 19 — or under age 24 if a full-time student for five months during the year — and be younger than you or your spouse if married filing jointly
    • Totally and permanently disabled, no matter what age
  • Live with you for more than half of the year. Temporary absences to attend school count as living with you if the student lives in your home when not at school.
  • Not file a joint return, unless that return is only to claim a refund
  • Not be claimed by anyone else for the EIC. If the child’s parents qualify to claim the child for the EIC, you can only claim the child if both of these apply:
    • The parents aren’t claiming the child.
    • Your adjusted gross income (AGI) is higher than the eligible parents’ AGI.

If neither of the child’s parents is eligible to claim the child, then your AGI doesn’t have to be higher. However, the child must still meet the other requirements to be your qualifying child.

Even if a family member isn’t your dependent, you can claim the person for EIC purposes if both of these apply:

  • The family member meets all the other requirements.
  • He or she is your:
    • Child
    • Stepchild
    • Foster child
    • Sibling
    • Step-sibling
    • Half-sibling
    • A descendent of any of these

Related Topics

Related Resources

[UPDATED] How to Choose Between Marketplace Plans for Health Insurance

Marketplace health insurance options fall into five categories. Which one is right for you? Learn more at H&R Block.

Home Renovation Energy Tax Credit

Can you claim an energy credit for renovations to your residential home? Learn more from the tax experts at H&R Block.

What Is Head of Household and Who Can Claim It?

Head of household is a filing status for single or unmarried taxpayers who have maintained a home for a qualifying person, such as a child or relative. This filing status provides a larger standard deduction and more generous tax rates for calculating federal income tax than the Single filing status.

Filing Taxes When Separated but Married

Do you need to learn more about filing taxes when separated but married or separated but not divorced? H&R Block can help you uncover the answers you need.