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A taxpayer with or without a qualifying child may claim the EIC. The maximum credit you can get depends on whether you have no qualifying children, 1 qualifying child or more than 1 qualifying child.

With qualifying children, you must meet the following requirements to claim the EIC:

  • You must have a valid social security number.
  • You must have earned income from employment or from self-employment.
  • Your filing status can’t be Married Filing Separately.
  • You must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien all year, or a nonresident alien married to a U.S. citizen or resident alien and filing a joint return.
  • You cannot be a qualifying child of another person.

A qualifying child must have lived with you for more than half the tax year and be younger than 19 at the end of the taxable year, or younger than 24 at the end of the taxable year AND a full-time student during any part of any 5 months during the taxable year, OR any age if permanently and totally disabled.

To claim the EIC without qualifying children, you must meet the requirements listed above plus the following requirements:

  • You must be at least 25 but younger than 65 at the end of the year.
  • You lived in the U.S. for more than half the year.
  • You don’t qualify as a dependent of another person.