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Earned Income Credit (EIC) Calculator

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Earned Income Credit (EIC) is a tax credit available to low income earners. In some cases the EIC can be greater than your total income tax bill, providing an income tax refund to families that may have little or no income tax withheld from their paychecks. Use this calculator see if you qualify for the Earned Income Credit, and if so, how much it might be worth to you and your family. This calculator creates estimated values for the current tax year.

Earned Income Credit (EIC) Calculator Definitions

Filing status
Choose your filing status. The ‘Filing Status’ table summarizes the five possible filing status choices. Your filing status determines the income levels for your Federal tax bracket. It is also important for calculating your standard deduction. Your marital status as of the last day of the year determines your filing status.
Filing Status
Married Filing Jointly If you are married, you are able to file a joint return with your spouse. If your spouse died during the tax year and you did not remarry, you are still able to file a joint return for that year. You may also choose to file separately under the status "Married Filing Separately".
Qualified Widow(er) Generally, you qualify for this status if your spouse died during the previous tax year (not the current tax year) and you and your spouse filed a joint tax return in the year immediately prior to their death. You are also required to have at least one dependent child or stepchild for whom you are the primary provider.
Single Use this filing status if you don't qualify for any other filing status. Generally, If you are divorced, legally separated or unmarried as of the last day of the year (and you are not using another filing status) you should use this status.
Head of Household This is the status for unmarried individuals (or individuals considered unmarried) that pay for more than half of the cost to keep up a home for qualifying individuals who live with the taxpayer for more than one-half of the year. (The taxpayer's dependent parent does not have to live with the taxpayer but can still qualify provided you pay over half of the cost of keeping up the parent's home.). This home needs to be the main home for the income tax filer and at least one qualifying relative. You can also choose this status if you are married, but didn't live with your spouse at anytime during the last six months of the year. You also need to provide more than half of the cost to keep up your home and have at least one dependent child living with you.
Married Filing Separately If you are married, you have the choice to file separate returns. The filing status for this option is "Married Filing Separately".
Number of qualifying children
Enter the number of children in your family that qualify for the Earned Income Credit (EIC). The IRS has certain requirements that must be met to have a child considered.
  1. Your relationship to the child must be:
    • Son, daughter, stepchild, eligible foster child, or a descendant (for example, your grandchild) of any of them, or
    • Brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant of any of them (for example, your niece or nephew).
  2. Age of your child must be:
    • Under age 19 at the end of the year
    • A full-time student under age 24 at the end of the year, or
    • Permanently and totally disabled at any time during the current year, regardless of age.
    • Be younger than the person claiming the child
    • Not have filed a joint return other than to claim a refund
  3. Your child must have lived with you in the United States for more than half of the current year.
  4. Both you and your child must have a Social Security Number that does not have either "Not valid for employment" or "For benefits only" printed on the card.
Earned income
This is any income from wages, salaries, tips or any other earned income that is taxable. Do not include any non-taxable benefits in this total. Also include any earnings from farms, farm partnerships or businesses that did not require payment of self-employment taxes.
Self-employment income
Include any self-employment income where you were required to pay self-employment taxes. The EIC rule requires you to reduce your self-employment income by 1/2 of your self-employment tax bill.
Investment income
Investment income includes the total of any of the following: Taxable Interest, Tax-exempt Interest, Capital Gains (do not include any capital gain or loss from the sales of business property), net income from any passive activities (generally, this would income generated from investments where you do not participate in the day to day management of the business or activity).
Non-taxable combat pay
If you received any non-taxable combat pay, the IRS allows you choose whether to figure your EIC with or without this pay included. This calculator will automatically choose the option that produces the highest EIC.
Adjusted gross income
Your adjusted gross income. This is usually your earned income entered above, plus any interest, dividends or capital gains. If your adjusted gross income is greater than your earned income your Earned Income Credit is calculated with your adjusted gross income and compared to the amount you would have received with your earned income. The lower of these two calculated amounts is your Earned Income Credit.
Penal & retirement income
Only enter an amount here if this type of income was included in your earned income total earlier. If you received income from any of these sources, it does not qualify for the Earned Income Credit. Your eligible Earned Income is reduced by this amount. Scholarships are also not included as earned income for EIC, but they are usually not included in your taxable earned income.
Are you (or spouse if married) at least age 25 but under age 65?
Check this box if you or your spouse will be at least age 25 and less than 65 years old at the end of the tax year. This rule only applies to people without any children. Your response is not used if you have 1 or more qualified children.
Can you (or your spouse if you are married) be claimed as a dependent of someone else?
If you have no qualifying children, you can't be the dependent of someone else and receive Earned Income Credit. If you are married, your spouse must also meet this requirement. Generally speaking, you are considered someone's dependent if they provide for more than half of your support during the year.
Can you (or spouse if married) be claimed as a qualifying child of someone else?
You cannot be a qualifying child of another person and receive Earned Income Credit. If you meet the requirements to be a qualifying child of your parents based on the EIC rules, you are unable to claim any EIC for yourself. This is the case even if your parent or parents do not qualify for EIC and whether or not you have any qualifying children of your own.
Have you (and spouse if married) lived in the U.S. for at least six months?
Check this box if you (and your spouse if married) lived in the United States for more than six months of the year. You must have lived in the U.S. for at least six months and one day during the current year. This only applies if you do not have any qualified children. For military personnel, you are able to include any time spent on extended deployment as living in the U.S.