Do I Qualify For The Earned Income Tax Credit?

Katie Wilkinson
Reviewed by
Max Mayblum
,
Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Learn how to qualify for the Earn Income Tax Credit (EITC) with or without claiming children or relatives on your tax return.
Published
January 18, 2023
Last updated
4
min read
Taxes

Do I Qualify For The Earned Income Tax Credit?

Katie Wilkinson
Reviewed by
Max Mayblum
,
Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Learn how to qualify for the Earn Income Tax Credit (EITC) with or without claiming children or relatives on your tax return.
Published
January 18, 2023
Last updated
4
min read
Taxes
Do I Qualify For The Earned Income Tax Credit?

Managing medical costs, groceries, housing, and utilities can overwhelm family caregivers. A family caregiver budget often has a quarter earmarked for the care recipient's needs. This might include covering gas for transportation to medical appointments, weekly groceries, or copays. The Earned Income Tax Credit helps low-income working families pay for necessities like food, housing, and medical needs. Created in 1975 by President Gerald Ford, the Earned Income Tax Credit helps many families make ends meet during difficult financial times.

Do I qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit?

Qualified low-income working families can receive an earned income tax credit annually. The Earned Income Tax Credit covers any children under the age of 17. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or residents with dependents who have lived in the country for at least six months. Dependents include foster children and college students under 24. Additionally, if an adults may qualify as a dependent if they have a permanent disability.

Households receive a refundable tax credit based on family size and earned income, and larger families receive bigger tax refunds based on the number of children in the household. In some cases, adult dependent children meet eligibility requirements, and children with a disability may meet eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit regardless of their age.

Types of earned income

  • Wages, salary, or tips on your W-2
  • Income from a job where there was no tax withholding (i.e., gig economy work)
  • Money made from self-employment
  • Benefits from a union strike
  • Some disability benefits you received before the minimum retirement age
  • Nontaxable combat pay 

Earned income does not include:

  • Pay for work as an inmate in a penal institution
  • Interest and dividends
  • Pensions or annuities
  • Social Security
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Alimony
  • Child support

The Earned Income Tax Credit does not take into consideration the following:

  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Medicaid
  • Affordable Housing for Low-Income families
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Food stamps
  • WIC

Qualifying rules

To qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit, the following must be true:

  • Earned income under $59,187
  • Investment income below $10,300 in the 2022 tax year 
  • Hold a valid Social Security number by the due date of your 2022 return 
  • Be a United States citizen or a resident alien for the whole year
  • Not file Form 2555 (Foreign Earned Income)
  • Meet specifications if you are separated from your spouse and do not file a joint tax return

The EITC has special qualifying rules for the militaryclergy, and taxpayers and their relatives with disabilities.

To be valid, a Social Security Number must be valid for employment and must be issued before the tax return due date (including extensions). Adoption taxpayer identification numbers (ATIN), individual taxpayer identification numbers (ITIN), and Social Security cards that read "Not Valid for Employment" are not accepted for the EITC.

givers guide to tax season

$4,000+ in tax credits available this year

Learn about tax credits that are made to compensate people caring for loved ones.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Caregiver Savings & Support
Givers Benefits

Caregiver Savings & Support

Givers helps unpaid family caregivers get the savings and support that they deserve.
Learn More
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

How does the Earned Income Tax Credit work?

The Earned Income Tax Credit reduces any taxes owed dollar-for-dollar. If the amount you should receive exceeds the total taxes owed, you will receive a refund. The refund might come in the form of a check or direct deposit. The amount received each year changes. Always double-check the updated requirements before filing taxes.

Do disabled adults qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit?

Some disabled adult children may qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit if they have a permanent disability that reduces the overall quality of life or can lead to death. The family caregiver must provide documentation from a licensed doctor that indicates that the adult dependent has a severe mental or physical illness that will last for more than a year or can result in death. They also must have a valid Social Security number, meet residency requirements, and any relationship eligibility rules.

As with any financial assistance, document all medical issues that impact gainful employment. Keep any documentation from hospital stays, physicians, and others who have close content with the individual. Keep all these files organized. Speak with your tax preparer about recommended legal documents for filing in case of an audit with the IRS. The Earned Income Tax Credit can significantly help a family caregiver's budget.

All Givers Taxes customers get free audit support. Suppose the IRS or state tax authority audits your return. A Case Resolution Specialist will review and respond to tax notices and represent you in front of the IRS.

How to apply for the Earned Income Tax Credit

Applying for the Earned Income Tax Credit can be completed when you file your yearly taxes. Calculate your overall earned income for the year. The tax forms have a chart to determine if you qualify. The IRS will deduct your Earned Income Tax Credit from any taxes you owe. Married couples need to file a joint return to apply for the credit.

Givers Taxes offers a complete tax filing experience for family caregivers across the United States. Those who use Givers Taxes can rest easy with our maximum refund and accuracy guarantee and full support in the case of an IRS audit.

Any refund will be sent to your home via check or direct deposit. In general, individuals receive direct deposit quicker than a check. If you have any questions, speak with your tax preparer about your eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Do you have everything you need to get up to $1,700 in caregiver tax credits this season?

Name and taxpayer identification number of your loved one
Name and provider ID number of the professional taking care of your loved one while you work or look for work
You have earned income or looked for work in 2022
Your loved one meets the eligibility criteria to be claimed as a dependent

Get your checklist

Tax filing for family caregivers

Learn More →
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

How much is the Earned Income Tax Credit?

The Earned Income Tax Credit is one of the most popular tax credits because it helps working families pay for necessities and the high cost of family caregiving. Even if someone doesn't owe any taxes, they still receive money back from the government as a refund. For example, when you receive money through wages, salaries, or tips, you pay less in taxes. The amount of the reduction depends on how much you make and whether you owe any other taxes.

You can receive as much as a refund of $6,935 based on 2022 calculations:

Other credits you may qualify for

If you qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit, you may also be eligible for other tax credits, including the following:

Being a family caregiver for a child, disabled adult, or foster child requires a significant financial commitment. The Earned Income Child Credit gives low–income working families some relief in paying for basics like groceries, housing, and medical needs.

Once the credit is applied to any owed taxes, the refund amount is sent to families. They can use the money for whatever they need. Many families depend on this refund to make important large purchases like major appliances, a vehicle, or towards high medical bills. Ask your tax preparer how to apply for the Earned Income Tax Credit this upcoming tax season.

Share this article
Get more articles like this
You got it! We'll occasionally send you new articles.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Katie Wilkinson

Katie Wilkinson

Katie Wilkinson is the Head of Marketing at Givers. Watching her dad take care of her mom when she was sick gave her a front-row seat to witness the weight of being an unpaid caregiver. Katie is passionate about the intersection of healthcare and technology, and making sure that unpaid family caregivers get the care and compensation they deserve.

Givers helps people taking care of loved ones save thousands.

No savings, no cost to you. Period.