The Earned Income Tax Credit was introduced as a way to help alleviate the tax burden for lower income individuals and also it is used as a way to help supplement their wages.
The rules for claiming the credit are different given the situation of each individual, but in general the rules can be broken up into the rules for those with qualifying children and for those claiming the credit without any qualifying children.
So I Can Claim the Credit Without Any Children?
Maybe. It depends on your earned income, filing status, and age.
So What Age Do I Need to Be?
For starters, you can only claim the credit without children if you are under the age of 65 or at least the age of 25 by the end of the year.
If you are 24 at the end of the year and your birthday is on January 1st, then your birthday will be considered the 31st of December and you will be considered 25 for the purposes of the EIC.
Likewise, if you are age 66 at the end of the year and your birthday was the 31st of December, your birthday will be considered the 1st of January for the purposes of the EIC and you will be considered 65 years old.
What Filing Status Do I Need to Use?
You will be ineligible to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit if you are filing as Married Filing Separately. You can claim the credit with any other filing status. However, the amount of earned income that applies to or limits the credit will be different depending on your filing status.
How Much Earned Income Do I Need to Claim the Credit?
With no qualifying children and with $15,270 or less of income, individuals filing as single, head of household, or widowed can claim the Earned Income Credit.
If a couple is filing jointly, their combined earned income will need to be equal to or less than $20,950.
Please note that this article only covers the general tests for those claiming the Earned Income Credit without qualifying children.
Please take time to review what constitutes earned income in regards to the credit and also review the rules for the limitations on how much investment income an individual can have before being disqualified for the EIC.
This article does not constitute financial, legal, or tax advice. For information regarding your specific situation, please consult your local professional.