Internal Revenue Service United States Department of the Treasury
Level Basic Advanced Military International

Earned Income Credit (EIC)

Qualifying for the EIC

General Eligibility Rules

Taxpayers must meet all of the Rules for Everyone to qualify for the EIC. Review the Summary of EIC Eligibility Requirements in the Volunteer Resource Guide, Earned Income Credit tab. Part A lists the Rules for Everyone.

Part A: Rules for Everyone

Must have a valid social security number.

Filing status cannot be "Married Filing Separately."

Must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien all year.

Cannot file Form 2555 or Form 2555-EZ (relating to foreign earned income).

Investment income must be $3,350 or less.

Cannot be a qualifying child of another person.

Be careful to apply the rules correctly as you interview the taxpayer. For questions to guide your interview, refer to the EIC General Eligibility Rules Interview Tips in the Volunteer Resource Guide, Earned Income Credit tab.

More Information

Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) and Adoption Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ATINs) cannot be used when claiming the EIC. If a couple is filing a joint return, both spouses and all qualifying children must have valid social security numbers to qualify for the EIC. However, if a valid number is obtained later and the taxpayer meets all the qualifications, an amended return may be filed claiming the EIC.

Summary of EIC Eligibility Requirements chart in the Volunteer Resource Guide, Earned Income Credit tab. Highlight Part A: Rules for Everyone, and Part D: Earned Income and AGI Limitations.
Summary of EIC Eligibility Requirements
EIC General Eligibility Rules Interview Tips

Summary of EIC Eligibility Requirements

EIC General Eligibility Rules Interview Tips