The National Directory of Certified Public Accountants

Ask A CPA - Earned Income Credit

Earned Income Credit - Child Eligibility

People who claim the credit, based on having one or more qualifying children, each child must meet the relationship test, age test, residency test and joint return test. Each child must meet all four tests. Relationship test. The child is the taxpayer’s: •Son or daughter, including an adopted child or child placed for adoption •Stepchild or grandchild •Foster child placed by an authorized placement agency or court •Brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, half brother, half sister, or •A descendant of any of them Age test. At the end of 2016, the child was: •Younger than the taxpayer or the taxpayer’s spouse if filing a joint return and younger than 19 •Younger than the taxpayer or the taxpayer’s spouse if filing a joint return and younger than 24 and a full-time student, or •Any age if permanently and totally disabled Residency test. The child lived with the taxpayer or the taxpayer’s spouse if filing a joint return in the U.S. for more than half of 2016. Joint Return test. A qualifying child who files a joint return can only do so to claim a refund with neither the child nor child’s spouse being required to file. More than one person cannot claim the same qualifying child to claim EITC. If a child meets the rules to be a qualifying child of more than one person, only one person can use that child to claim the EITC. Also, if the child qualifies for both a parent and another person, the other person can only get the credit by having a higher AGI than the parent.

If you need professional help with "Earned Income Credit" or have other tax questions, we can help you find a local licensed CPA for a free, no-obligation consultation.