The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), sometimes called the Earned Income Credit (EIC), is a refundable federal income tax credit for low-income working individuals and families. To claim the EITC on your 2020 tax return, you must meet all of the following rules:
- Citizenship/Residency: You must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien all year; a nonresident alien married to a U.S. citizen; or a resident alien and filing a joint return.
- Social Security Numbers: You must have a valid Social Security number that allows you to work.*
Additionally, to claim the EITC, you must have a valid Social Security number (SSN) for you, your spouse (if filing a joint return), and your qualifying child. A Social Security number is issued by the Social Security Administration to a U.S. citizen or to a person who has permission from the INS to work in the United States.
*You cannot claim the Earned Income Tax Credit if the SSN was issued solely for use in applying for or receiving federally
You cannot get the credit if, instead of an SSN, you, your spouse, or your qualifying child has:
- An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), which is issued to a non-citizen who cannot get
- An Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number (ATIN), which is issued for a child to adopting parents who cannot get a SSN for the child being adopted until the adoption is final.
3. Earned Income: You must have earned income during 2020 from employment or self-employment. Earned income includes disability pay and can include nontaxable combat pay if you wish. You cannot file Form 2555, Foreign Earned Income. Your earned income and AGI must each be less than:
- $50,954 ($56,844 married filing jointly) with three or more
- $47,440 ($53,330 married filing jointly) with two
- $41,756 ($47,646 married filing jointly) with one qualifying child
- $15,820 ($21,710 married filing jointly) with no
**Additional criteria if you have no qualifying children: You must be age 25, but less than 65 at the end of the year, live in the United States for more than half the year, and not qualify as a dependent of another person.
4. Investment Income: Your investment income cannot be more than $3,650.
5. Filing Status: Your filing status can be any filing status EXCEPT "married filing a separate return."
6. Qualifying Child: You cannot be a qualifying child for another person. If you are married, your spouse cannot be a qualifying child for another person. Your qualifying child cannot be used by more than one person to claim the EITC.