Here are the maximum amounts of this credit for 2016, based on the number of qualifying children you have:
* $6,269 with three or more qualifying children
* $5,572 with two qualifying children
* $3,373 with one qualifying child
* $506 with no qualifying children
**Phaseouts are based on filing status and number of children and begin at $8,240 for single taxpayers with no children and $18,110 for single taxpayers with one or more children.
The EIC is a refundable tax credit. That's good news, because it means that if the amount of the credit is more than the taxes you owe, you get a refund for the remainder of the credit. Even if you don't owe taxes, the government will refund this credit to you.
- You must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien for the entire year.
- You, your spouse, and qualifying children must have valid Social Security numbers.
In order for a child to qualify, he or she must:
- Be a blood or adopted son, daughter, stepchild, sibling, stepsibling, or grandchild, or a descendant of any of them (such as a grandchild, niece, or nephew), or an eligible foster child (placed with you by a court or authorized agency).
- Be age 18 or under at the end of the tax year, or age 23 or under if he or she is a student. A permanently and totally disabled person qualifies regardless of his or her age.
- Have lived with you in the U.S. for at least six months of the tax year.
- Be younger than the person claiming them.
If you do not have a qualifying child, you (and your spouse if filing a joint return):
- Must be at least 25 years old and under age 65 at the end of the tax year. (There is no age restriction if you have a qualifying child.)
- Cannot be a dependent on another's return.
- Must live in the U.S. for over six months of the year (if married, both of you must live in the U.S. for over six months). (Military personnel stationed outside the U.S. are considered to live in the U.S.)