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IRS.gov Website
Publication 596
taxmap/pubs/p596-013.htm#en_us_publink1000298572

Rule 13—You Cannot Be a Qualifying Child of Another Taxpayer(p17)

rule
You are a qualifying child of another taxpayer (your parent, guardian, foster parent, etc.) if all of the following statements are true.
  1. You are that person's son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, or a descendant of any of them. Or, you are that person's brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant of any of them.
  2. You were:
    1. Under age 19 at the end of the year and younger than that person (or that person's spouse, if the person files jointly),
    2. Under age 24 at the end of the year, a student, and younger than that person (or that person's spouse, if the person files jointly), or
    3. Permanently and totally disabled, regardless of age.
  3. You lived with that person in the United States for more than half of the year.
  4. You aren't filing a joint return for the year (or are filing a joint return only to claim a refund of withheld income tax or estimated tax paid).
For more details about the tests to be a qualifying child, see Rule 8.
If you are a qualifying child of another taxpayer, you cannot claim the EIC. This is true even if the person for whom you are a qualifying child doesn't claim the EIC or meet all of the rules to claim the EIC. Put "No" next to line 66a (Form 1040), line 42a (Form 1040A), or line 8a (Form 1040EZ).
taxmap/pubs/p596-013.htm#en_us_publink100013071

Example. (p17)

You lived with your mother all year. You are age 26, unmarried, and permanently and totally disabled. Your only income was from a community center where you went three days a week to answer telephones. You earned $5,000 for the year and provided more than half of your own support. Because you meet the relationship, age, residency, and joint return tests, you are a qualifying child of your mother for the EIC. She can claim the EIC if she meets all the other requirements. Because you are a qualifying child of your mother, you cannot claim the EIC. This is so even if your mother cannot or doesn't claim the EIC.
taxmap/pubs/p596-013.htm#en_us_publink100013072

Joint returns. (p17)

rule
You generally cannot be a qualifying child of another taxpayer if you are married and file a joint return.
However, you may be a qualifying child of another taxpayer if you and your spouse file a joint return merely to claim a refund of income tax withheld or estimated tax paid. But neither you nor your spouse can be a qualifying child of another taxpayer if you claim the EIC on your joint return.
taxmap/pubs/p596-013.htm#en_us_publink100013073

Child of person not required to file a return. (p17)

rule
You aren't the qualifying child of another taxpayer (and so may qualify to claim the EIC) if the person for whom you meet the relationship, age, residency, and joint return tests isn't required to file an income tax return and either:
taxmap/pubs/p596-013.htm#en_us_publink100013074

Example 1—return not required. (p17)

You lived all year with your father. You are 27 years old, unmarried, permanently and totally disabled, and earned $13,000. You have no other income, no children, and provided more than half of your own support. Your father had no gross income, isn't required to file a 2015 tax return, and doesn't file a 2015 tax return. As a result, you aren't your father's qualifying child. You can claim the EIC if you meet all the other requirements to do so.
taxmap/pubs/p596-013.htm#en_us_publink100013075

Example 2—return filed to get refund of tax withheld. (p17)

The facts are the same as in Example 1 except your father had wages of $1,500 and had income tax withheld from his wages. He files a return only to get a refund of the income tax withheld and doesn't claim the EIC or any other tax credits or deductions. As a result, you aren't your father's qualifying child. You can claim the EIC if you meet all the other requirements to do so.
taxmap/pubs/p596-013.htm#en_us_publink100013076

Example 3—return filed to get EIC. (p17)

The facts are the same as in Example 2 except your father claimed the EIC on his return. Since he filed the return to get the EIC, he isn't filing it only to get a refund of income tax withheld. As a result, you are your father's qualifying child. You cannot claim the EIC.