Earned Income Tax Credit – Children Not Required

The previous post provided an overview of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), including what it is and the requirements a taxpayer must meet to use this credit on their federal income tax return.  One of the requirements in general is that a taxpayer must have one or more children who meet the four qualification requirements: relationship, age, residency, and joint return.

However, there are a set of requirements that qualify a taxpayer for the Earned Income Tax Credit even when he does not have children.  Read on to see these requirements.

Children Not Required

If a taxpayer does not have a qualifying child for the EITC, he can still qualify for the EITC if he first meets the following requirements.  These requirements are applicable to everyone seeking to use the EITC:

  • Have a valid Social Security Number
  • Have earned income from employment, self-employment, or another source
  • Not use the married filing separately filing status
  • Be a citizen of the United States, a resident alien for the entire tax year, or a non-resident alien married to a citizen of the United States or a resident alien
  • Not be the qualifying child for EITC for someone else
  • Not use tax Forms 2555 or 2555-EZ related to a foreign income tax credit
  • Have income, adjusted gross income, and investment income below the defined thresholds

Earned Income and adjusted gross income (AGI) must each be less than:

  • $45,060 ($50,270 married filing jointly) when the taxpayer has three or more qualifying children
  • $41,952 ($47,162 married filing jointly) when the taxpayer has two qualifying children
  • $36,920 ($42,130 married filing jointly) when the taxpayer has one qualifying child

In addition, investment income must be $3,200 or less for the tax year.

If the taxpayer meets all of the above qualification requirements but does not have a qualifying child, the taxpayer can still use the EITC if he means all of the following additional requirements for those without a qualifying child:

  • The taxpayer and the taxpayer’s spouse if filing a joint return must have lived in the United States for more than half the tax year
  • Either the taxpayer or the taxpayer’s spouse if filing a joint return must be at least 25 years old and under age 65
  • Either the taxpayer or the taxpayer’s spouse cannot qualify as a dependent on another person

If the taxpayer meets all of the above requirements, he qualifies for the EITC.  To obtain the credit, the taxpayer must file a federal income tax return, even if the taxpayer does not owe federal income tax.

Obtaining help with the Earned Income Tax Credit and other tax questions

If you have questions about whether you qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit or any other questions about your federal income tax, you can get that help by completing the form located on this page.  A tax attorney who knows the tax law will contact you to answer your questions.

Remember this initial conversation is free of charge and does not obligate you to anything further.  So complete the form today to get answers to all of your tax questions.

by Mark Johnston

Mark has been a contributor to legal web sites related to bankruptcy, tax, and criminal law since 2011. He has an Accounting degree from Texas A&M University.