skip navigation
Search Help
Navigation Help

Tax Map Index
ABCDEFGHI
JKLMNOPQR
STUVWXYZ#

International
Tax Topic Index

Affordable Care Act
Tax Topic Index

Exempt Organization
Tax Topic Index

FAQs
Forms
Publications
Tax Topics
Worksheets

Comments
About Tax Map

IRS.gov Website
Publication 596
taxmap/pubs/p596-024.htm#en_us_publink1000676
PencilEIC Eligibility Checklist
You may claim the EIC if you answer "Yes" to all the following questions.*
  YesNo
1.Is your AGI less than:
  • $14,880 ($20,430 for married filing jointly) if you don't have a qualifying child,
  • $39,296 ($44,846 for married filing jointly) if you have one qualifying child,
  • $44,648 ($50,198 for married filing jointly) if you have two qualifying children, or
  • $47,955 ($53,505 for married filing jointly) if you have more than two qualifying children?
(See Rule 1.)
2.Do you and your spouse each have a valid SSN that you got by the due date of your 2016 return (including extensions)? (See Rule 2.)
3.Is your filing status married filing jointly, head of household, qualifying widow(er), or single? (See Rule 3.)
Caution: If you or your spouse is a nonresident alien, answer "Yes" only if your filing status is married filing jointly. (See Rule 4.)
4.Answer "Yes" if you aren't filing Form 2555 or Form 2555-EZ. Otherwise, answer "No." (See Rule 5.)
5.Is your investment income $3,400 or less? (See Rule 6.)
6.Is your total earned income at least $1 but less than:
  • $14,880 ($20,430 for married filing jointly) if you don't have a qualifying child,
  • $39,296 ($44,846 for married filing jointly) if you have one qualifying child,
  • $44,648 ($50,198 for married filing jointly) if you have two qualifying children, or
  • $47,955 ($53,505 for married filing jointly) if you have more than two qualifying children?
(See Rules 7 and 15.)
7.Answer "Yes" if (a) you aren't a qualifying child of another taxpayer or (b) you are filing a joint return. Otherwise, answer "No." (See Rules 10 and 13.)
 STOP: If you have a qualifying child, answer questions 8 and 9 and skip 10–12. If you don't have a qualifying child, skip questions 8 and 9 and answer 10–12.*  
8.Does your child meet the relationship, age, residency, and joint return tests for a qualifying child and have a valid SSN that he or she got by the due date of your 2016 return (including extensions)? (See Rule 8.)
9.Is your child a qualifying child only for you? Answer "Yes" if (a) your qualifying child doesn't meet the tests to be a qualifying child of any other person or (b) your qualifying child meets the tests to be a qualifying child of another person but you are the person entitled to treat the child as a qualifying child under the tiebreaker rules explained in Rule 9. Answer "No" if the other person is the one entitled to treat the child as a qualifying child under the tiebreaker rules.
10.Were you (or your spouse if filing a joint return) at least age 25 but under age 65 at the end of 2016? (See Rule 11.)
11.Answer "Yes" if (a) you cannot be claimed as a dependent on anyone else's return or (b) you are filing a joint return. Otherwise, answer "No." (See Rule 12.)
12.Was your main home (and your spouse's if filing a joint return) in the United States for more than half the year? (See Rule 14.)


*PERSONS WITH A QUALIFYING CHILD: If you answered "Yes" to questions 1 through 9, you can claim the EIC. (If you have more than one child, you can claim the EIC as long as you answer "Yes" to questions 1 through 7 and can answer "Yes" to questions 8 and 9 for at least one child.) Remember to fill out Schedule EIC and attach it to your Form 1040 or Form 1040A. You cannot use Form 1040EZ. If you answered "Yes" to questions 1 through 7 and "No" to question 8, answer questions 10 through 12 to see if you can claim the EIC without a qualifying child.
PERSONS WITHOUT A QUALIFYING CHILD: If you answered "Yes" to questions 1 through 7, and 10 through 12, you can claim the EIC.
If you answered "No" to any question that applies to you: You cannot claim the EIC.