How to Qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit

January 18, 2017

Even if you don’t owe taxes, or aren’t required to file, you may still qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). If you do owe taxes, and you qualify, it will lower the amount you have to pay and even better: You may end up with a refund.

The credit is for working individuals with low, or moderate income and may fluctuate based on the number of children you have, if any.

But remember, your children must qualify. Which means no claiming your neighbors’ kids, or your precious fur babies. We agree - pets are family too, but the federal government? Not so much.

According to, here’s what you need to qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit:

•   A valid Social Security number for you, your spouse, and each child you list on your return.
•   You can’t file your return married, separately. You must file one of the following ways:

       ◦   Married, jointly
       ◦   Head of household
       ◦   Qualifying widow or widower
       ◦   Single

•   Your total earned income must be at least $1 in 2016, and no more than the income restrictions shown below:

How to Qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit
When you go to file your taxes, remember that even if you pay someone to prepare your return for you, only you are responsible for the accuracy of your return. So take your time, research ratings and reviews before choosing a tax preparer.

Learn more about additional rules and exceptions for the Earned Income Tax Credit at

By Danielle Spang

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