You can’t be above the adjusted gross income limits

To claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), you cannot earn above the maximum adjusted gross income levels. For people without a qualifying child, adjusted gross income must be below $15,570 ($21,370 for a couple). A person with only 1 qualifying child can have income up to $41,094 ($46,884 for a couple). Those with 2 qualifying children can have adjusted gross income up to $46,703 ($52,493 for a couple). Those with 3 or more qualifying children can have adjusted gross income up to $50,162 ($55,952 for a couple). The figures given here are for tax year 2019. Figures adjust annually.

You must have some earned income

You must have at least some earned income to qualify for an Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). You are not eligible if you live completely on unearned income, including Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). You also cannot claim foreign income or have investment income that is above $3,600 (for tax year 2019).

You must meet the age requirements

If you do not claim any qualifying children, you must be 25 – 64 years of age to qualify for an Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). If you have a qualifying child, there is no age requirement.

Your qualifying children must meet IRS criteria and can only be claimed once

Children must meet IRS relationship, residency, age, and support requirements to be considered qualifying children under Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Only 1 family member can claim the qualifying child or children on their tax return.

Married couples must file a joint return

If you’re married, you cannot file your taxes as “married filing separately” and qualify for an Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). You must file a joint tax return.