The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a great way for low-income workers and their families to receive a little extra assistance during the tax season. There are seven major requirements a taxpayer must meet in order to pre-qualify for the EITC. If you meet all seven, there are additional rules that you have to pass to be eligible to claim the credit.

The first rule deals with your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI), and the limitations for qualification of the EITC. Your AGI is the amount you record on line 4 of your Form 1040EZ (line 22 and line 38 on Form 1040A and Form 1040 respectively). For the 2015 tax season, your AGI must be less than:

Filing Single, HOH, or Qualifying Widow(er)

  • $47,747 with three or more qualifying children
  • $44,454 with two qualifying children
  • $39,131 with one qualifying child
  • $14,820 with zero children

Married Filing Jointly

  • $53,267 with three or more qualifying children
  • $49,974 with two qualifying children
  • $44,651 with one qualifying child
  • $20,330 with no children

Taxpayers with AGIs that exceed the above limitations are not eligible to claim the EITC. You have not passed the first test of eligibility. It’s important to note that if you qualify to file as Head of Household even if you are married, living separately from your spouse, you’ll have to take in community property laws in your state when calculating your AGI.

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