The earned income credit is for individuals who earn a low to moderate income with the purpose of effectively lowering your tax liability.
In order to qualify for the earned income credit, your adjusted gross income must be less than the following:
- $36,348 – single or married filing jointly with 2 or more qualifying children
- $32,001 (single) or $34,001 (married filing jointly) with 1 qualifying child
- $12,140 (single) or $14,140 (married filing jointly) with no qualifying children
(For definition of a qualifying child see http://taxes.thefuntimesguide.com/what_is_a_qualifying_child)
Additionally, you may not have investment income greater than $2,800 for the tax year.
If you meet the income standards above, the maximum credit you may take is as follows:
$4,536 – 2 or more qualifying children
$2,747 – 1 qualifying child
$412 – no qualifying children
In addition to the income and children criteria, in order to qualify for the earned income credit, you must also meet a few other criteria. First, you may file your taxes as single, head of household, or married filing jointly, but you may NOT claim the credit if you file as married, filing separately.
Second, you may not claim the credit if you yourself are claimed as a qualifying child on another’s tax return. Third, you must have a valid social security number and have earned income from employment or self-employment.
Finally, if you do not have any qualifying children, you must fit the following:
- Are at least 25 years old and under the age of 65 at year end
- Must have lived in the US for at least half the year
- You do not qualify as a dependent of another person