Taxpayer 101: Do You Qualify for Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)?

The IRS announced that low- to moderate-income workers with qualifying children may be eligible to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) if certain rules apply to them. You may qualify for the EITC even if you can’t claim children on your tax return. Find out how to claim the EITC without a qualifying child.

Basic Qualifying Rules

To qualify for the EITC, in 2021 you must:

  • Work and had earned income under $57,414
  • Earn investment income below $10,000
  • Have a valid Social Security number by the due date of your 2021 return (including extensions)
  • Be a U.S. citizen or a resident alien all year
  • Not file Form 2555 (related to foreign earned income)

Special Qualifying Rules

The EITC has special qualifying rules for:

Valid Social Security Number

To qualify for the EITC, everyone you claim on your taxes must have a valid Social Security number (SSN). To be valid, the SSN must be:

  • Valid for employment
  • Issued before the due date of the tax return you plan to claim (including extensions)

For the EITC, the IRS:

  • Accepts a Social Security number on a Social Security card that has the words, “Valid for work with DHS authorization,” on it.
  • Does not accept:
    • Individual taxpayer identification numbers (ITIN)
    • Adoption taxpayer identification numbers (ATIN)
    • Social Security numbers on Social Security cards that have the words, “Not Valid for Employment,” on them

Filing Status

In 2021, to qualify for the EITC, you can use one of the following conditions:

  • Married filing jointly
  • Head of household
  • Qualifying widow or widower
  • Single
  • Married filing separate

You can claim the EIC if you are married, not filing a joint return, had a qualifying child who lived with you for more than half of 2021, and either of the following apply to you: 

  • Lived apart from your spouse for the last 6 months of 2021, or 
  • Are legally separated according to your state law under a written separation agreement or a decree of separate maintenance and you didn’t live in the same household as your spouse at the end of 2021. 

Migration Resource Center Tax Services

The Migration Resource Center staff has a team of tax consultants, tax attorneys, enrolled agents, and CPAs. We can assist you with tax planning as well as reducing tax. In addition, we provide workshops on the Citizenship Interview and Test, Taxes, and Personal Finance. We offer workshops both online and in traditional classroom environments.

Contact Migration Resource Center Taxpayer Services now for assistance with your taxpayer concerns. Use our online form or call (646) 827-2959.