CAAB

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Basic Qualifications to Claim the EITC

Per the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the following qualifications must be met in order to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (ETIC). Make sure you understand them and claim the EITC!

Basic Qualifications to Claim the EITC

Per the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the following qualifications must be met in order to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (ETIC). Make sure you understand them and claim the EITC!

All Workers Claiming the EITC Must:

  • Have a  Social Security number that is valid for employment and issued before the due date of the return (including extensions)
  • Not file as married filing separate
  • Not file Form 2555 or Form 2555-EZ (related to foreign earned income)
  • Meet the investment income limitation
  • Have earned income
  • Not be the qualifying child of another person,
  • Generally, be a U.S. citizen or resident alien for the entire year

The income limits for earned income, adjusted gross income and investment income are adjusted for cost-of-living each year. Find the dollar amounts here. 

To Claim EITC With a Qualifying Child, the Child Must Pass All of the Following Tests:

  • Relationship
    • A son or daughter (including an adopted child or child lawfully placed for adoption)
    • Stepchild
    • Foster child placed by an authorized placement agency or a court with competent jurisdiction
    • Brother, sister,  half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister or a descendant of any of them
  • Age, at the end of the filing year, the child was:
    • Younger than the worker (or the worker's spouse if married filing jointly) and 
      • younger than 19
      • or, younger than 24 and a full-time student
    • Any age if permanently and totally disabled
  • Residency
    • Child must live with the worker, or the worker's spouse if filing a joint return, in the United States* for more than half of the year
  • Joint Return
    • The child can not have filed a joint return, unless the child and the child's spouse did not have a filing requirement and filed only to claim a refund.

Note: For EITC, the qualifying child does not need to meet the support test under the Uniform Definition of a Child. See Understanding Who is a Qualifying Child

Warning: Only one person can claim the same qualifying child for EITC and other tax benefits.  If more than one person claims the same child, IRS applies the tiebreaker rules. Read more about the tiebreaker rules here

To Claim EITC Without a Qualifying Child, You, and Your Spouse if you File a Joint Return:

  • Must have lived in the United States for more than half of the tax year,
  • Either you (or your spouse if filing a joint return) must be at least age 25 but less than age 65
  • Cannot qualify as the dependent of another person 

*Special rules apply for members of the military on extended duty outside the United States. See the military section on the Special Rules for EITC for more information.


About the DC EITC Campaign 

The CAAB-managed DC EITC Campaign, is a citywide, cross-sector initiative that provides access to information on the EITC and connects Washingtonians with free tax preparation services throughout the District.

The DC EITC Campaign is made possible through the support from Citi Community Development and United Way of the National Capital Area.
 

About Capital Area Asset Builders

Capital Area Asset Builders (CAAB) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to empower low- and moderate-income residents of the Greater DC Area to take control of their finances, increase their savings, and build wealth for a better future.

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or send a check or money order to
Capital Area Asset Builders (CAAB)
c/o Joseph Leitmann-Santa Cruz, Director of External Relations
1100 H Street NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20005