Do I Qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)?

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is one of the most common credits that are claimed, but by members that do not qualify. On the other hand, many Americans that do qualify are not claiming this credit. This article clarifies what the EITC credit is and how you may be eligible.

Basic Qualifications:

  • Worked and earned income under $63,398
  • Investment income below $11,000 in the tax year 2023
  • Have a valid Social Security number by the due date of the return
  • Be a U.S citizen or resident alien all year
  • Not file form 2555, Foreign Earned Income
  • Meet certain rules if you are separated from your spouse and do not file a joint return

What Constitutes Earned Income?

Earned Income Includes:

  • Wages/salaries/tips from W-2 forms
  • Gig economy work
  • Self-employment income
  • Benefits from a union strike
  • Disability benefits before a certain age
  • Nontaxable Combat Pay

Earned Income Does Not Include:

  • Earned income as an inmate
  • Interest and dividends
  • Pensions or annuities
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Alimony
  • Child support

What is the Threshold?

This is the maximum Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) to qualify for the EITC. AGI is income calculated after deductions. The thresholds are based on how many dependents are claimed and filing status. Additionally, if you are claiming the EITC without any qualifying children, you must be at least 25 years old, but not older than 65.

Zero: $17,640 (Single/HOH/Widowed), $24,210 (MFJ)

One: $46,560 (Single/HOH/Widowed), $53,120 (MFJ)

Two: $52,918 (Single/HOH/Widowed), $59,478 (MFJ)

Three: $56,838 (Single/HOH/Widowed), $63,398 (MFJ)

Note: MFJ = Married Filing Jointly and HOH = Head of Household

What Constitutes a Qualifying Child?


  • Under 19 and younger than you, Under 24 and a full-time student at least 5 months of the year, Any age and permanently disabled


  • Child must be son/daughter, stepchild, adopted/foster child, brother/sister, half-brother, half-sister, stepsister/brother, grandchild, niece/nephew


  • Live in the same U.S home for more than half of the year

Common Mistakes:

It should be noted that only one person may claim a qualifying child and the child-related benefits. This is the case even if two separated individuals both qualify for the EITC. It is also important that all the tests are met for the child to qualify. For instance, just meeting the age and residency requirement, without the relationship requirement, would result in ineligibility.

Additional Assistance:

If you are eligible for the EITC you may also qualify for the Child Tax Credit/Credit for Other Dependents, Child and Dependent Care Credit, and Education Credits. If you want more assistance with tax filing for tax year 2023, you may call or book an appointment at a VITA location.

VITA Link:

All information has been taken from the IRS website.