The Earned Income Tax Credit is a tax benefit that you may be eligible for as a single parent. It is designed to help low-income families keep more of the money they earned by lowering their tax.
Who Qualifies for the Earned Income Tax Credit?
To qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit for 2012, you must:
- Have a valid Social Security number
- Have earned an income over the course of the year
- Have earned less than:
$36,920 if you have one qualifying child
$41,952 if you have two qualifying children
$45,060 if you have three or more qualifying children
In addition, to qualify, you must not:
- Be claiming more than $3,200 in investment income
- Utilize the “married, filing jointly” filing status
- Be claimed as a qualifying child on another person’s return
- Claim foreign income using Form 255 or 255-EZ
What is a "Qualifying Child?"
In addition, each child can only be claimed as a “qualifying child” on one parent’s tax return. To qualify, your child:
- Must have a valid Social Security number
- Must actually be your son or daughter. Grandchildren, adopted children, stepchildren, and foster children may qualify as well.
- Siblings and step-siblings, as well as their children (your nieces/nephews) may also qualify.
- The qualifying child must have been younger than you on the last day of the year.
- He or she must also be younger than 19, or younger than 24 if he or she is also a full-time student. (Disabled children qualify regardless of their age.)
- He or she must live with you for more than half the year.
- He or she can not be claimed as a qualifying child on anyone else's tax return.
- He or she can not file a joint return (with his/her spouse) during the year that you claim them as a qualifying child.
Filing for Earned Income Tax Credit After Being Denied
In addition, if you applied for the Earned Income Tax Credit last year, and were denied, you need to attach Form 8862, Information to Claim Earned Income Credit After Disallowance, with your return. For more information, visit the IRS web site.
"Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Questions and Answers." IRS.gov. N.p., 21 Dec. 2009. Web. 14 Mar. 2010. [http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=96466,00.html].
"Earned Income Tax Credit Rules for Everyone." IRS.gov. N.p., 3 Feb. 2010. Web. 14 Mar. 2010. [http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=218782,00.html].
"EITC Income Limits, Maximum Credit Amounts and Tax Law Updates." IRS.gov. N.p., 18 Dec. 2009. Web. 14 Mar. 2010. [http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=150513,00.html].
"Qualifying Child Rules." IRS.gov. N.p., 29 Jan. 2010. Web. 14 Mar. 2010. [http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=218779,00.html].