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Government Requirements
Earned Income Credit Go to topics
Earned income credit is a federal program to assist low income working adults. Parents with children who qualify for the program receive a tax credit with each paycheck. People without children who qualify (and are over 25) can receive a tax credit with their annual 1040 tax return.

Who qualifies  To qualify, all participants must:
  • Have earned income (be working and receive a W-2). Nontaxable military pay, workfare payments, earnings while an inmate, or disability insurance do not count as earned income.
  • Have a valid social security number
  • Cannot file married, filing separately
  • Cannot be a qualifying child of another person
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien all year
  • Cannot have investment income greater than $2,800 or foreign earned income
  • Have income that is less than:
    1 qualifying child 39,131 44,651
    2 qualifying children 44,454 49,974
    More than 2 children 47,747 53,267
    No children 14,820 20,330
What to do  If an employee qualifies for earned income credit and has a child, the employer should contact the IRS at 800 829-1040. for information on how to provide the employee a tax credit with their paychecks.

If an employee qualifies, but has no child, the employee should contact the IRS at 800 829-1040. for information on claiming the tax credit at year-end.

Questions?  Call the IRS information hotline (800) 829-4933 or visit For forms, call (800) 829-3676 or obtain them online at