Internal Revenue Service United States Department of the Treasury
Module 11: Earned Income Credit

Page 4 of 13


Rules for Everyone

To claim the earned income credit, taxpayers must meet all eight of the following rules:

  1. Earned income and adjusted gross income must be less than:
    • $46,997 ($52,427 if Married Filing Jointly) with three or more qualifying children
    • $43,756 ($49,186 if Married Filing Jointly) with two qualifying children
    • $38,511 ($43,941 if Married Filing Jointly) with one qualifying child
    • $14,590 ($20,020 if Married Filing Jointly) with no qualifying child
  2. Must have a valid social security number issued by the Social Security Administration.
  3. Cannot use the married filing a separate return filing status.
  4. Must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien all year. (Exception for married nonresident alien who chooses to be treated as a resident alien).
  5. Cannot file Form 2555 or Form 2555-EZ to exclude income earned in foreign countries.
  6. Investment income must be $3,350 or less. Investment income includes taxable and tax-exempt interest, dividends, capital gain net income, certain rental and royalty income, and net passive activity income.
  7. You must have earned income.
  8. Cannot be the qualifying child of another person.


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