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Freefile com Publication 596 - Main Content Table of Contents Chapter 1—Rules for EveryoneRule 1—Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) Limits Rule 2—You Must Have a Valid Social Security Number (SSN) Rule 3—Your Filing Status Cannot Be Married Filing Separately Rule 4—You Must Be a U. Freefile com S. Freefile com Citizen or Resident Alien All Year Rule 5—You Cannot File Form 2555 or Form 2555-EZ Rule 6—Your Investment Income Must Be $3,300 or Less Rule 7—You Must Have Earned Income Chapter 2—Rules If You Have a Qualifying ChildRule 8—Your Child Must Meet the Relationship, Age, Residency, and Joint Return Tests Rule 9—Your Qualifying Child Cannot Be Used by More Than One Person To Claim the EIC Rule 10—You Cannot Be a Qualifying Child of Another Taxpayer Chapter 3—Rules If You Do Not Have a Qualifying ChildRule 11—You Must Be at Least Age 25 but Under Age 65 Rule 12—You Cannot Be the Dependent of Another Person Rule 13—You Cannot Be a Qualifying Child of Another Taxpayer Rule 14—You Must Have Lived in the United States More Than Half of the Year Chapter 4—Figuring and Claiming the EICRule 15—Earned Income Limits IRS Will Figure the EIC for You How To Figure the EIC Yourself Schedule EIC Chapter 5—Disallowance of the EICForm 8862 Are You Prohibited From Claiming the EIC for a Period of Years? Chapter 6—Detailed ExamplesExample 1—Sharon Rose Example 2—Cynthia and Jerry Grey Chapter 1—Rules for Everyone This chapter discusses Rules 1 through 7. Freefile com You must meet all seven rules to qualify for the earned income credit. Freefile com If you do not meet all seven rules, you cannot get the credit and you do not need to read the rest of the publication. Freefile com If you meet all seven rules in this chapter, then read either chapter 2 or chapter 3 (whichever applies) for more rules you must meet. Freefile com Rule 1—Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) Limits Your adjusted gross income (AGI) must be less than: $46,227 ($51,567 for married filing jointly) if you have three or more qualifying children, $43,038 ($48,378 for married filing jointly) if you have two qualifying children, $37,870 ($43,210 for married filing jointly) if you have one qualifying child, or $14,340 ($19,680 for married filing jointly) if you do not have a qualifying child. Freefile com Adjusted gross income (AGI). Freefile com   AGI is the amount on line 4 of Form 1040EZ, line 22 of Form 1040A, or line 38 of Form 1040. Freefile com   If your AGI is equal to or more than the applicable limit listed above, you cannot claim the EIC. Freefile com You do not need to read the rest of this publication. Freefile com Example—AGI is more than limit. Freefile com Your AGI is $38,550, you are single, and you have one qualifying child. Freefile com You cannot claim the EIC because your AGI is not less than $37,870. Freefile com However, if your filing status was married filing jointly, you might be able to claim the EIC because your AGI is less than $43,210. Freefile com Community property. Freefile com   If you are married, but qualify to file as head of household under special rules for married taxpayers living apart (see Rule 3), and live in a state that has community property laws, your AGI includes that portion of both your and your spouse's wages that you are required to include in gross income. Freefile com This is different from the community property rules that apply under Rule 7. Freefile com Rule 2—You Must Have a Valid Social Security Number (SSN) To claim the EIC, you (and your spouse, if filing a joint return) must have a valid SSN issued by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Freefile com Any qualifying child listed on Schedule EIC also must have a valid SSN. Freefile com (See Rule 8 if you have a qualifying child. Freefile com ) If your social security card (or your spouse's, if filing a joint return) says “Not valid for employment” and your SSN was issued so that you (or your spouse) could get a federally funded benefit, you cannot get the EIC. Freefile com An example of a federally funded benefit is Medicaid. Freefile com If you have a card with the legend “Not valid for employment” and your immigration status has changed so that you are now a U. Freefile com S. Freefile com citizen or permanent resident, ask the SSA for a new social security card without the legend. Freefile com If you get the new card after you have already filed your return, you can file an amended return on Form 1040X, Amended U. Freefile com S. Freefile com Individual Income Tax Return, to claim the EIC. Freefile com U. Freefile com S. Freefile com citizen. Freefile com   If you were a U. Freefile com S. Freefile com citizen when you received your SSN, you have a valid SSN. Freefile com Valid for work only with INS authorization or DHS authorization. Freefile com   If your social security card reads “Valid for work only with INS authorization” or “Valid for work only with DHS authorization,” you have a valid SSN, but only if that authorization is still valid. Freefile com SSN missing or incorrect. Freefile com   If an SSN for you or your spouse is missing from your tax return or is incorrect, you may not get the EIC. Freefile com Other taxpayer identification number. Freefile com   You cannot get the EIC if, instead of an SSN, you (or your spouse, if filing a joint return) have an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN). Freefile com ITINs are issued by the Internal Revenue Service to noncitizens who cannot get an SSN. Freefile com No SSN. Freefile com   If you do not have a valid SSN, put “No” next to line 64a (Form 1040), line 38a (Form 1040A), or line 8a (Form 1040EZ). Freefile com You cannot claim the EIC. Freefile com Getting an SSN. Freefile com   If you (or your spouse, if filing a joint return) do not have an SSN, you can apply for one by filing Form SS-5 with the SSA. Freefile com You can get Form SS-5 online at www. Freefile com socialsecurity. Freefile com gov, from your local SSA office, or by calling the SSA at 1-800-772-1213. Freefile com Filing deadline approaching and still no SSN. Freefile com   If the filing deadline is approaching and you still do not have an SSN, you have two choices. Freefile com Request an automatic 6-month extension of time to file your return. Freefile com You can get this extension by filing Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U. Freefile com S. Freefile com Individual Income Tax Return. Freefile com For more information, see the instructions for Form 4868. Freefile com File the return on time without claiming the EIC. Freefile com After receiving the SSN, file an amended return, Form 1040X, claiming the EIC. Freefile com Attach a filled-in Schedule EIC, Earned Income Credit, if you have a qualifying child. Freefile com Rule 3—Your Filing Status Cannot Be “Married Filing Separately” If you are married, you usually must file a joint return to claim the EIC. Freefile com Your filing status cannot be “Married filing separately. Freefile com ” Spouse did not live with you. Freefile com   If you are married and your spouse did not live in your home at any time during the last 6 months of the year, you may be able to file as head of household, instead of married filing separately. Freefile com In that case, you may be able to claim the EIC. Freefile com For detailed information about filing as head of household, see Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information. Freefile com Rule 4—You Must Be a U. Freefile com S. Freefile com Citizen or Resident Alien All Year If you (or your spouse, if married) were a nonresident alien for any part of the year, you cannot claim the earned income credit unless your filing status is married filing jointly. Freefile com You can use that filing status only if one spouse is a U. Freefile com S. Freefile com citizen or resident alien and you choose to treat the nonresident spouse as a U. Freefile com S. Freefile com resident. Freefile com If you make this choice, you and your spouse are taxed on your worldwide income. Freefile com If you need more information on making this choice, get Publication 519, U. Freefile com S. Freefile com Tax Guide for Aliens. Freefile com If you (or your spouse, if married) were a nonresident alien for any part of the year and your filing status is not married filing jointly, enter “No” on the dotted line next to line 64a (Form 1040) or in the space to the left of line 38a (Form 1040A). Freefile com Rule 5—You Cannot File Form 2555 or Form 2555-EZ You cannot claim the earned income credit if you file Form 2555, Foreign Earned Income, or Form 2555-EZ, Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. Freefile com You file these forms to exclude income earned in foreign countries from your gross income, or to deduct or exclude a foreign housing amount. Freefile com U. Freefile com S. Freefile com possessions are not foreign countries. Freefile com See Publication 54, Tax Guide for U. Freefile com S. Freefile com Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad, for more detailed information. Freefile com Rule 6—Your Investment Income Must Be $3,300 or Less You cannot claim the earned income credit unless your investment income is $3,300 or less. Freefile com If your investment income is more than $3,300, you cannot claim the credit. Freefile com Form 1040EZ. Freefile com   If you file Form 1040EZ, your investment income is the total of the amount on line 2 and the amount of any tax-exempt interest you wrote to the right of the words “Form 1040EZ” on line 2. Freefile com Form 1040A. Freefile com   If you file Form 1040A, your investment income is the total of the amounts on lines 8a (taxable interest), 8b (tax-exempt interest), 9a (ordinary dividends), and 10 (capital gain distributions) on that form. Freefile com Form 1040. Freefile com   If you file Form 1040, use Worksheet 1 in this chapter to figure your investment income. Freefile com    Worksheet 1. Freefile com Investment Income If You Are Filing Form 1040 Use this worksheet to figure investment income for the earned income credit when you file Form 1040. Freefile com Interest and Dividends         1. Freefile com Enter any amount from Form 1040, line 8a 1. Freefile com   2. Freefile com Enter any amount from Form 1040, line 8b, plus any amount on Form 8814, line 1b 2. Freefile com   3. Freefile com Enter any amount from Form 1040, line 9a 3. Freefile com   4. Freefile com Enter the amount from Form 1040, line 21, that is from Form 8814 if you are filing that form to report your child's interest and dividend income on your return. Freefile com (If your child received an Alaska Permanent Fund dividend, use Worksheet 2 in this chapter to figure the amount to enter on this line. Freefile com ) 4. Freefile com   Capital Gain Net Income         5. Freefile com Enter the amount from Form 1040, line 13. Freefile com If the amount on that line is a loss, enter -0- 5. Freefile com       6. Freefile com Enter any gain from Form 4797, Sales of Business Property, line 7. Freefile com If the amount on that line is a loss, enter -0-. Freefile com (But, if you completed lines 8 and 9 of Form 4797, enter the amount from line 9 instead. Freefile com ) 6. Freefile com       7. Freefile com Substract line 6 of this worksheet from line 5 of this worksheet. Freefile com (If the result is less than zero, enter -0-. Freefile com ) 7. Freefile com   Royalties and Rental Income From Personal Property         8. Freefile com Enter any royalty income from Schedule E, line 23b, plus any income from the rental of personal property shown on Form 1040, line 21 8. Freefile com       9. Freefile com Enter any expenses from Schedule E, line 20, related to royalty income, plus any expenses from the rental of personal property deducted on Form 1040, line 36 9. Freefile com       10. Freefile com Subtract the amount on line 9 of this worksheet from the amount on line 8. Freefile com (If the result is less than zero, enter -0-. Freefile com ) 10. Freefile com   Passive Activities         11. Freefile com Enter the total of any net income from passive activities (such as income included on Schedule E, line 26, 29a (col. Freefile com (g)), 34a (col. Freefile com (d)), or 40). Freefile com (See instructions below for lines 11 and 12. Freefile com ) 11. Freefile com       12. Freefile com Enter the total of any losses from passive activities (such as losses included on Schedule E, line 26, 29b (col. Freefile com (f)), 34b (col. Freefile com (c)), or 40). Freefile com (See instructions below for lines 11 and 12. Freefile com ) 12. Freefile com       13. Freefile com Combine the amounts on lines 11 and 12 of this worksheet. Freefile com (If the result is less than zero, enter -0-. Freefile com ) 13. Freefile com   14. Freefile com Add the amounts on lines 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 10, and 13. Freefile com Enter the total. Freefile com This is your investment income 14. Freefile com   15. Freefile com Is the amount on line 14 more than $3,300? ❑ Yes. Freefile com You cannot take the credit. Freefile com  ❑ No. Freefile com Go to Step 3 of the Form 1040 instructions for lines 64a and 64b to find out if you can take the credit (unless you are using this publication to find out if you can take the credit; in that case, go to Rule 7, next). Freefile com       Instructions for lines 11 and 12. Freefile com In figuring the amount to enter on lines 11 and 12, do not take into account any royalty income (or loss) included on line 26 of Schedule E or any amount included in your earned income. Freefile com To find out if the income on line 26 or line 40 of Schedule E is from a passive activity, see the Schedule E instructions. Freefile com If any of the rental real estate income (or loss) included on Schedule E, line 26, is not from a passive activity, print “NPA” and the amount of that income (or loss) on the dotted line next to line 26. Freefile com Worksheet 2. Freefile com Worksheet for Line 4 of Worksheet 1 Complete this worksheet only if Form 8814 includes an Alaska Permanent Fund dividend. Freefile com Note. Freefile com Fill out a separate Worksheet 2 for each Form 8814. Freefile com     1. Freefile com Enter the amount from Form 8814, line 2a 1. Freefile com   2. Freefile com Enter the amount from Form 8814, line 2b 2. Freefile com   3. Freefile com Subtract line 2 from line 1 3. Freefile com   4. Freefile com Enter the amount from Form 8814, line 1a 4. Freefile com   5. Freefile com Add lines 3 and 4 5. Freefile com   6. Freefile com Enter the amount of the child's Alaska Permanent Fund dividend 6. Freefile com   7. Freefile com Divide line 6 by line 5. Freefile com Enter the result as a decimal (rounded to at least three places) 7. Freefile com   8. Freefile com Enter the amount from Form 8814, line 12 8. Freefile com   9. Freefile com Multiply line 7 by line 8 9. Freefile com   10. Freefile com Subtract line 9 from line 8. Freefile com Enter the result on line 4 of Worksheet 1 10. Freefile com     (If filing more than one Form 8814, enter on line 4 of Worksheet 1 the total of the amounts on line 10 of all Worksheets 2. Freefile com )     Example—completing Worksheet 2. Freefile com Your 10-year-old child has taxable interest income of $400, an Alaska Permanent Fund dividend of $1,000, and ordinary dividends of $1,100, of which $500 are qualified dividends. Freefile com You choose to report this income on your return. Freefile com You enter $400 on line 1a of Form 8814, $2,100 ($1,000 + $1,100) on line 2a, and $500 on line 2b. Freefile com After completing lines 4 through 11, you enter $400 on line 12 of Form 8814 and line 21 of Form 1040. Freefile com On Worksheet 2, you enter $2,100 on line 1, $500 on line 2, $1,600 on line 3, $400 on line 4, $2,000 on line 5, $1,000 on line 6, 0. Freefile com 500 on line 7, $400 on line 8, $200 on line 9, and $200 on line 10. Freefile com You then enter $200 on line 4 of Worksheet 1. Freefile com Rule 7—You Must Have Earned Income This credit is called the “earned income” credit because, to qualify, you must work and have earned income. Freefile com If you are married and file a joint return, you meet this rule if at least one spouse works and has earned income. Freefile com If you are an employee, earned income includes all the taxable income you get from your employer. Freefile com Rule 15 has information that will help you figure the amount of your earned income. Freefile com If you are self-employed or a statutory employee, you will figure your earned income on EIC Worksheet B in the Form 1040 instructions. Freefile com Earned Income Earned income includes all of the following types of income. Freefile com Wages, salaries, tips, and other taxable employee pay. Freefile com Employee pay is earned income only if it is taxable. Freefile com Nontaxable employee pay, such as certain dependent care benefits and adoption benefits, is not earned income. Freefile com But there is an exception for nontaxable combat pay, which you can choose to include in earned income, as explained later in this chapter. Freefile com Net earnings from self-employment. Freefile com Gross income received as a statutory employee. Freefile com Wages, salaries, and tips. Freefile com    Wages, salaries, and tips you receive for working are reported to you on Form W-2, in box 1. Freefile com You should report these on line 1 (Form 1040EZ) or line 7 (Forms 1040A and 1040). Freefile com Nontaxable combat pay election. Freefile com   You can elect to include your nontaxable combat pay in earned income for the earned income credit. Freefile com The amount of your nontaxable combat pay should be shown on your Form W-2, in box 12, with code Q. Freefile com Electing to include nontaxable combat pay in earned income may increase or decrease your EIC. Freefile com For details, see Nontaxable combat pay in chapter 4. Freefile com Net earnings from self-employment. Freefile com   You may have net earnings from self-employment if: You own your own business, or You are a minister or member of a religious order. Freefile com Minister's housing. Freefile com   The rental value of a home or a housing allowance provided to a minister as part of the minister's pay generally is not subject to income tax but is included in net earnings from self-employment. Freefile com For that reason, it is included in earned income for the EIC (except in the cases described in Approved Form 4361 or Form 4029 , below). Freefile com Statutory employee. Freefile com   You are a statutory employee if you receive a Form W-2 on which the “Statutory employee” box (box 13) is checked. Freefile com You report your income and expenses as a statutory employee on Schedule C or C-EZ (Form 1040). Freefile com Strike benefits. Freefile com   Strike benefits paid by a union to its members are earned income. Freefile com Approved Form 4361 or Form 4029 This section is for persons who have an approved: Form 4361, Application for Exemption From Self-Employment Tax for Use by Ministers, Members of Religious Orders and Christian Science Practitioners, or Form 4029, Application for Exemption From Social Security and Medicare Taxes and Waiver of Benefits. Freefile com Each approved form exempts certain income from social security taxes. Freefile com Each form is discussed here in terms of what is or is not earned income for the EIC. Freefile com Form 4361. Freefile com   Whether or not you have an approved Form 4361, amounts you received for performing ministerial duties as an employee count as earned income. Freefile com This includes wages, salaries, tips, and other taxable employee compensation. Freefile com A nontaxable housing allowance or the nontaxable rental value of a home is not earned income. Freefile com Also, amounts you received for performing ministerial duties, but not as an employee, do not count as earned income. Freefile com Examples include fees for performing marriages and honoraria for delivering speeches. Freefile com Form 4029. Freefile com   Whether or not you have an approved Form 4029, all wages, salaries, tips, and other taxable employee compensation count as earned income. Freefile com However, amounts you received as a self-employed individual do not count as earned income. Freefile com Also, in figuring earned income, do not subtract losses on Schedule C, C-EZ, or F from wages on line 7 of Form 1040. Freefile com Disability Benefits If you retired on disability, taxable benefits you receive under your employer's disability retirement plan are considered earned income until you reach minimum retirement age. Freefile com Minimum retirement age generally is the earliest age at which you could have received a pension or annuity if you were not disabled. Freefile com You must report your taxable disability payments on line 7 of either Form 1040 or Form 1040A until you reach minimum retirement age. Freefile com Beginning on the day after you reach minimum retirement age, payments you receive are taxable as a pension and are not considered earned income. Freefile com Report taxable pension payments on Form 1040, lines 16a and 16b, or Form 1040A, lines 12a and 12b. Freefile com Disability insurance payments. Freefile com   Payments you received from a disability insurance policy that you paid the premiums for are not earned income. Freefile com It does not matter whether you have reached minimum retirement age. Freefile com If this policy is through your employer, the amount may be shown in box 12 of your Form W-2 with code “J. Freefile com ” Income That Is Not Earned Income Examples of items that are not earned income include interest and dividends, pensions and annuities, social security and railroad retirement benefits (including disability benefits), alimony and child support, welfare benefits, workers' compensation benefits, unemployment compensation (insurance), nontaxable foster care payments, and veterans' benefits, including VA rehabilitation payments. Freefile com Do not include any of these items in your earned income. Freefile com Earnings while an inmate. Freefile com   Amounts received for work performed while an inmate in a penal institution are not earned income when figuring the earned income credit. Freefile com This includes amounts for work performed while in a work release program or while in a halfway house. Freefile com Workfare payments. Freefile com   Nontaxable workfare payments are not earned income for the EIC. Freefile com These are cash payments certain people receive from a state or local agency that administers public assistance programs funded under the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program in return for certain work activities such as (1) work experience activities (including remodeling or repairing public housing) if sufficient private sector employment is not available, or (2) community service program activities. Freefile com Community property. Freefile com   If you are married, but qualify to file as head of household under special rules for married taxpayers living apart (see Rule 3), and live in a state that has community property laws, your earned income for the EIC does not include any amount earned by your spouse that is treated as belonging to you under those laws. Freefile com That amount is not earned income for the EIC, even though you must include it in your gross income on your income tax return. Freefile com Your earned income includes the entire amount you earned, even if part of it is treated as belonging to your spouse under your state's community property laws. Freefile com Nevada, Washington, and California domestic partners. Freefile com   If you are a registered domestic partner in Nevada, Washington, or California, the same rules apply. Freefile com Your earned income for the EIC does not include any amount earned by your partner. Freefile com Your earned income includes the entire amount you earned. Freefile com For details, see Publication 555. Freefile com Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) payments. Freefile com   If you were receiving social security retirement benefits or social security disability benefits at the time you received any CRP payments, your CRP payments are not earned income for the EIC. Freefile com Nontaxable military pay. Freefile com   Nontaxable pay for members of the Armed Forces is not considered earned income for the EIC. Freefile com Examples of nontaxable military pay are combat pay, the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH), and the Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS). Freefile com See Publication 3, Armed Forces' Tax Guide, for more information. Freefile com    Combat pay. Freefile com You can elect to include your nontaxable combat pay in earned income for the EIC. Freefile com See Nontaxable combat pay in chapter 4. Freefile com Chapter 2—Rules If You Have a Qualifying Child If you have met all the rules in chapter 1, use this chapter to see if you have a qualifying child. Freefile com This chapter discusses Rules 8 through 10. Freefile com You must meet all three of those rules, in addition to the rules in chapters 1 and 4, to qualify for the earned income credit with a qualifying child. Freefile com You must file Form 1040 or Form 1040A to claim the EIC with a qualifying child. Freefile com (You cannot file Form 1040EZ. Freefile com ) You also must complete Schedule EIC and attach it to your return. Freefile com If you meet all the rules in chapter 1 and this chapter, read chapter 4 to find out what to do next. Freefile com No qualifying child. Freefile com   If you do not meet Rule 8, you do not have a qualifying child. Freefile com Read chapter 3 to find out if you can get the earned income credit without a qualifying child. Freefile com Rule 8—Your Child Must Meet the Relationship, Age, Residency, and Joint Return Tests Your child is a qualifying child if your child meets four tests. Freefile com The fours tests are: Relationship, Age, Residency, and Joint return. Freefile com The four tests are illustrated in Figure 1. Freefile com The paragraphs that follow contain more information about each test. Freefile com Relationship Test To be your qualifying child, a child must be your: Son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, or a descendant of any of them (for example, your grandchild), or Brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant of any of them (for example, your niece or nephew). Freefile com The following definitions clarify the relationship test. Freefile com Adopted child. Freefile com   An adopted child is always treated as your own child. Freefile com The term “adopted child” includes a child who was lawfully placed with you for legal adoption. Freefile com Foster child. Freefile com   For the EIC, a person is your foster child if the child is placed with you by an authorized placement agency or by judgment, decree, or other order of any court of competent jurisdiction. Freefile com (An authorized placement agency includes a state or local government agency. Freefile com It also includes a tax-exempt organization licensed by a state. Freefile com In addition, it includes an Indian tribal government or an organization authorized by an Indian tribal government to place Indian children. Freefile com ) Example. Freefile com Debbie, who is 12 years old, was placed in your care 2 years ago by an authorized agency responsible for placing children in foster homes. Freefile com Debbie is your foster child. Freefile com Figure 1. Freefile com Tests for Qualifying Child Please click here for the text description of the image. Freefile com Conditions for Qualifying Child Age Test Your child must be: Under age 19 at the end of 2013 and younger than you (or your spouse, if filing jointly), Under age 24 at the end of 2013, a student, and younger than you (or your spouse, if filing jointly, or Permanently and totally disabled at any time during 2013, regardless of age. Freefile com The following examples and definitions clarify the age test. Freefile com Example 1—child not under age 19. Freefile com Your son turned 19 on December 10. Freefile com Unless he was permanently and totally disabled or a student, he is not a qualifying child because, at the end of the year, he was not under age 19. Freefile com Example 2—child not younger than you or your spouse. Freefile com Your 23-year-old brother, who is a full-time student and unmarried, lives with you and your spouse. Freefile com He is not disabled. Freefile com Both you and your spouse are 21 years old, and you file a joint return. Freefile com Your brother is not your qualifying child because he is not younger than you or your spouse. Freefile com Example 3—child younger than your spouse but not younger than you. Freefile com The facts are the same as in Example 2 except that your spouse is 25 years old. Freefile com Because your brother is younger than your spouse, he is your qualifying child, even though he is not younger than you. Freefile com Student defined. Freefile com   To qualify as a student, your child must be, during some part of each of any 5 calendar months during the calendar year: A full-time student at a school that has a regular teaching staff, course of study, and regular student body at the school, or A student taking a full-time, on-farm training course given by a school described in (1), or a state, county, or local government. Freefile com   The 5 calendar months need not be consecutive. Freefile com   A full-time student is a student who is enrolled for the number of hours or courses the school considers to be full-time attendance. Freefile com School defined. Freefile com   A school can be an elementary school, junior or senior high school, college, university, or technical, trade, or mechanical school. Freefile com However, on-the-job training courses, correspondence schools, and schools offering courses only through the Internet do not count as schools for the EIC. Freefile com Vocational high school students. Freefile com   Students who work in co-op jobs in private industry as a part of a school's regular course of classroom and practical training are considered full-time students. Freefile com Permanently and totally disabled. Freefile com   Your child is permanently and totally disabled if both of the following apply. Freefile com He or she cannot engage in any substantial gainful activity because of a physical or mental condition. Freefile com A doctor determines the condition has lasted or can be expected to last continuously for at least a year or can lead to death. Freefile com Residency Test Your child must have lived with you in the United States for more than half of 2013. Freefile com The following definitions clarify the residency test. Freefile com United States. Freefile com   This means the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Freefile com It does not include Puerto Rico or U. Freefile com S. Freefile com possessions such as Guam. Freefile com Homeless shelter. Freefile com   Your home can be any location where you regularly live. Freefile com You do not need a traditional home. Freefile com For example, if your child lived with you for more than half the year in one or more homeless shelters, your child meets the residency test. Freefile com Military personnel stationed outside the United States. Freefile com   U. Freefile com S. Freefile com military personnel stationed outside the United States on extended active duty are considered to live in the United States during that duty period for purposes of the EIC. Freefile com Extended active duty. Freefile com   Extended active duty means you are called or ordered to duty for an indefinite period or for a period of more than 90 days. Freefile com Once you begin serving your extended active duty, you are still considered to have been on extended active duty even if you do not serve more than 90 days. Freefile com Birth or death of child. Freefile com    child who was born or died in 2013 is treated as having lived with you for more than half of 2013 if your home was the child's home for more than half the time he or she was alive in 2013. Freefile com Temporary absences. Freefile com   Count time that you or your child is away from home on a temporary absence due to a special circumstance as time the child lived with you. Freefile com Examples of a special circumstance include illness, school attendance, business, vacation, military service, and detention in a juvenile facility. Freefile com Kidnapped child. Freefile com   A kidnapped child is treated as living with you for more than half of the year if the child lived with you for more than half the part of the year before the date of the kidnapping. Freefile com The child must be presumed by law enforcement authorities to have been kidnapped by someone who is not a member of your family or the child's family. Freefile com This treatment applies for all years until the child is returned. Freefile com However, the last year this treatment can apply is the earlier of: The year there is a determination that the child is dead, or The year the child would have reached age 18. Freefile com   If your qualifying child has been kidnapped and meets these requirements, enter “KC,” instead of a number, on line 6 of Schedule EIC. Freefile com Joint Return Test To meet this test, the child cannot file a joint return for the year. Freefile com Exception. Freefile com   An exception to the joint return test applies if your child and his or her spouse file a joint return only to claim a refund of income tax withheld or estimated tax paid. Freefile com Example 1—child files joint return. Freefile com You supported your 18-year-old daughter, and she lived with you all year while her husband was in the Armed Forces. Freefile com He earned $25,000 for the year. Freefile com The couple files a joint return. Freefile com Because your daughter and her husband file a joint return, she is not your qualifying child. Freefile com Example 2—child files joint return to get refund of tax withheld. Freefile com Your 18-year-old son and his 17-year-old wife had $800 of wages from part-time jobs and no other income. Freefile com They do not have a child. Freefile com Neither is required to file a tax return. Freefile com Taxes were taken out of their pay, so they file a joint return only to get a refund of the withheld taxes. Freefile com The exception to the joint return test applies, so your son may be your qualifying child if all the other tests are met. Freefile com Example 3—child files joint return to claim American opportunity credit. Freefile com The facts are the same as in Example 2 except no taxes were taken out of your son's pay. Freefile com He and his wife are not required to file a tax return, but they file a joint return to claim an American opportunity credit of $124 and get a refund of that amount. Freefile com Because claiming the American opportunity credit is their reason for filing the return, they are not filing it only to claim a refund of income tax withheld or estimated tax paid. Freefile com The exception to the joint return test does not apply, so your son is not your qualifying child. Freefile com Married child. Freefile com   Even if your child does not file a joint return, if your child was married at the end of the year, he or she cannot be your qualifying child unless: You can claim an exemption for the child, or The reason you cannot claim an exemption for the child is that you let the child's other parent claim the exemption under the Special rule for divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart) described later. Freefile com    Social security number. Freefile com Your qualifying child must have a valid social security number (SSN), unless the child was born and died in 2013 and you attach to your return a copy of the child's birth certificate, death certificate, or hospital records showing a live birth. Freefile com You cannot claim the EIC on the basis of a qualifying child if: The qualifying child's SSN is missing from your tax return or is incorrect, The qualifying child's social security card says “Not valid for employment” and was issued for use in getting a federally funded benefit, or Instead of an SSN, the qualifying child has: An individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN), which is issued to a noncitizen who cannot get an SSN, or An adoption taxpayer identification number (ATIN), issued to adopting parents who cannot get an SSN for the child being adopted until the adoption is final. Freefile com   If you have more than one qualifying child and only one has a valid SSN, you can use only that child to claim the EIC. Freefile com For more information about SSNs, see Rule 2. Freefile com Rule 9—Your Qualifying Child Cannot Be Used by More Than One Person To Claim the EIC Sometimes a child meets the tests to be a qualifying child of more than one person. Freefile com However, only one of these persons can actually treat the child as a qualifying child. Freefile com Only that person can use the child as a qualifying child to take all of the following tax benefits (provided the person is eligible for each benefit). Freefile com The exemption for the child. Freefile com The child tax credit. Freefile com Head of household filing status. Freefile com The credit for child and dependent care expenses. Freefile com The exclusion for dependent care benefits. Freefile com The EIC. Freefile com The other person cannot take any of these benefits based on this qualifying child. Freefile com In other words, you and the other person cannot agree to divide these tax benefits between you. Freefile com The other person cannot take any of these tax benefits unless he or she has a different qualifying child. Freefile com The tiebreaker rules, which follow, explain who, if anyone, can claim the EIC when more than one person has the same qualifying child. Freefile com However, the tiebreaker rules do not apply if the other person is your spouse and you file a joint return. Freefile com Tiebreaker rules. Freefile com   To determine which person can treat the child as a qualifying child to claim the six tax benefits just listed, the following tiebreaker rules apply. Freefile com If only one of the persons is the child's parent, the child is treated as the qualifying child of the parent. Freefile com If the parents file a joint return together and can claim the child as a qualifying child, the child is treated as the qualifying child of the parents. Freefile com If the parents do not file a joint return together but both parents claim the child as a qualifying child, the IRS will treat the child as the qualifying child of the parent with whom the child lived for the longer period of time during the year. Freefile com If the child lived with each parent for the same amount of time, the IRS will treat the child as the qualifying child of the parent who had the higher adjusted gross income (AGI) for the year. Freefile com If no parent can claim the child as a qualifying child, the child is treated as the qualifying child of the person who had the highest AGI for the year. Freefile com If a parent can claim the child as a qualifying child but no parent does so claim the child, the child is treated as the qualifying child of the person who had the highest AGI for the year, but only if that person's AGI is higher than the highest AGI of any of the child's parents who can claim the child. Freefile com If the child's parents file a joint return with each other, this rule can be applied by treating the parents' total AGI as divided evenly between them. Freefile com See Example 8. Freefile com   Subject to these tiebreaker rules, you and the other person may be able to choose which of you claims the child as a qualifying child. Freefile com See Examples 1 through 13. Freefile com   If you cannot claim the EIC because your qualifying child is treated under the tiebreaker rules as the qualifying child of another person for 2013, you may be able to take the EIC using a different qualifying child, but you cannot take the EIC using the rules in chapter 3 for people who do not have a qualifying child. Freefile com If the other person cannot claim the EIC. Freefile com   If you and someone else have the same qualifying child but the other person cannot claim the EIC because he or she is not eligible or his or her earned income or AGI is too high, you may be able to treat the child as a qualifying child. Freefile com See Examples 6 and 7. Freefile com But you cannot treat the child as a qualifying child to claim the EIC if the other person uses the child to claim any of the other six tax benefits listed earlier in this chapter. Freefile com Examples. Freefile com    The following examples may help you in determining whether you can claim the EIC when you and someone else have the same qualifying child. Freefile com Example 1—child lived with parent and grandparent. Freefile com You and your 2-year-old son Jimmy lived with your mother all year. Freefile com You are 25 years old, unmarried, and your AGI is $9,000. Freefile com Your only income was $9,000 from a part-time job. Freefile com Your mother's only income was $20,000 from her job, and her AGI is $20,000. Freefile com Jimmy's father did not live with you or Jimmy. Freefile com The special rule explained later for divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart) does not apply. Freefile com Jimmy is a qualifying child of both you and your mother because he meets the relationship, age, residency, and joint return tests for both you and your mother. Freefile com However, only one of you can treat him as a qualifying child to claim the EIC (and the other tax benefits listed earlier in this chapter for which that person qualifies). Freefile com He is not a qualifying child of anyone else, including his father. Freefile com If you do not claim Jimmy as a qualifying child for the EIC or any of the other tax benefits listed earlier, your mother can treat him as a qualifying child to claim the EIC (and any of the other tax benefits listed earlier for which she qualifies). Freefile com Example 2—parent has higher AGI than grandparent. Freefile com The facts are the same as in Example 1 except your AGI is $25,000. Freefile com Because your mother's AGI is not higher than yours, she cannot claim Jimmy as a qualifying child. Freefile com Only you can claim him. Freefile com Example 3—two persons claim same child. Freefile com The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that you and your mother both claim Jimmy as a qualifying child. Freefile com In this case, you as the child's parent will be the only one allowed to claim Jimmy as a qualifying child for the EIC and the other tax benefits listed earlier for which you qualify. Freefile com The IRS will disallow your mother's claim to the EIC and any of the other tax benefits listed earlier unless she has another qualifying child. Freefile com Example 4—qualifying children split between two persons. Freefile com The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that you also have two other young children who are qualifying children of both you and your mother. Freefile com Only one of you can claim each child. Freefile com However, if your mother's AGI is higher than yours, you can allow your mother to claim one or more of the children. Freefile com For example, if you claim one child, your mother can claim the other two. Freefile com Example 5—taxpayer who is a qualifying child. Freefile com The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that you are only 18 years old. Freefile com This means you are a qualifying child of your mother. Freefile com Because of Rule 10, discussed next, you cannot claim the EIC and cannot claim your son as a qualifying child. Freefile com Only your mother may be able to treat Jimmy as a qualifying child to claim the EIC. Freefile com If your mother meets all the other requirements for claiming the EIC and you do not claim Jimmy as a qualifying child for any of the other tax benefits listed earlier, your mother can claim both you and Jimmy as qualifying children for the EIC. Freefile com Example 6—grandparent with too much earned income to claim EIC. Freefile com The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that your mother earned $50,000 from her job. Freefile com Because your mother's earned income is too high for her to claim the EIC, only you can claim the EIC using your son. Freefile com Example 7—parent with too much earned income to claim EIC. Freefile com The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that you earned $50,000 from your job and your AGI is $50,500. Freefile com Your earned income is too high for you to claim the EIC. Freefile com But your mother cannot claim the EIC either, because her AGI is not higher than yours. Freefile com Example 8—child lived with both parents and grandparent. Freefile com The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that you and Jimmy's father are married to each other, live with Jimmy and your mother, and have AGI of $30,000 on a joint return. Freefile com If you and your husband do not claim Jimmy as a qualifying child for the EIC or any of the other tax benefits listed earlier, your mother can claim him instead. Freefile com Even though the AGI on your joint return, $30,000, is more than your mother's AGI of $20,000, for this purpose half of the joint AGI can be treated as yours and half as your husband's. Freefile com In other words, each parent's AGI can be treated as $15,000. Freefile com Example 9—separated parents. Freefile com You, your husband, and your 10-year-old son Joey lived together until August 1, 2013, when your husband moved out of the household. Freefile com In August and September, Joey lived with you. Freefile com For the rest of the year, Joey lived with your husband, who is Joey's father. Freefile com Joey is a qualifying child of both you and your husband because he lived with each of you for more than half the year and because he met the relationship, age, and joint return tests for both of you. Freefile com At the end of the year, you and your husband still were not divorced, legally separated, or separated under a written separation agreement, so the Special rule for divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart) does not apply. Freefile com You and your husband will file separate returns. Freefile com Your husband agrees to let you treat Joey as a qualifying child. Freefile com This means, if your husband does not claim Joey as a qualifying child for any of the tax benefits listed earlier, you can claim him as a qualifying child for any tax benefit listed earlier for which you qualify. Freefile com However, your filing status is married filing separately, so you cannot claim the EIC or the credit for child and dependent care expenses. Freefile com See Rule 3. Freefile com Example 10—separated parents claim same child. Freefile com The facts are the same as in Example 9 except that you and your husband both claim Joey as a qualifying child. Freefile com In this case, only your husband will be allowed to treat Joey as a qualifying child. Freefile com This is because, during 2013, the boy lived with him longer than with you. Freefile com You cannot claim the EIC (either with or without a qualifying child). Freefile com However, your husband's filing status is married filing separately, so he cannot claim the EIC or the credit for child and dependent care expenses. Freefile com See Rule 3. Freefile com Example 11—unmarried parents. Freefile com You, your 5-year-old son, and your son's father lived together all year. Freefile com You and your son's father are not married. Freefile com Your son is a qualifying child of both you and his father because he meets the relationship, age, residency, and joint return tests for both you and his father. Freefile com Your earned income and AGI are $12,000, and your son's father's earned income and AGI are $14,000. Freefile com Neither of you had any other income. Freefile com Your son's father agrees to let you treat the child as a qualifying child. Freefile com This means, if your son's father does not claim your son as a qualifying child for the EIC or any of the other tax benefits listed earlier, you can claim him as a qualifying child for the EIC and any of the other tax benefits listed earlier for which you qualify. Freefile com Example 12—unmarried parents claim same child. Freefile com The facts are the same as in Example 11 except that you and your son's father both claim your son as a qualifying child. Freefile com In this case, only your son's father will be allowed to treat your son as a qualifying child. Freefile com This is because his AGI, $14,000, is more than your AGI, $12,000. Freefile com You cannot claim the EIC (either with or without a qualifying child). Freefile com Example 13—child did not live with a parent. Freefile com You and your 7-year-old niece, your sister's child, lived with your mother all year. Freefile com You are 25 years old, and your AGI is $9,300. Freefile com Your only income was from a part-time job. Freefile com Your mother's AGI is $15,000. Freefile com Her only income was from her job. Freefile com Your niece's parents file jointly, have an AGI of less than $9,000, and do not live with you or their child. Freefile com Your niece is a qualifying child of both you and your mother because she meets the relationship, age, residency, and joint return tests for both you and your mother. Freefile com However, only your mother can treat her as a qualifying child. Freefile com This is because your mother's AGI, $15,000, is more than your AGI, $9,300. Freefile com Special rule for divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart). Freefile com   A child will be treated as the qualifying child of his or her noncustodial parent (for purposes of claiming an exemption and the child tax credit, but not for the EIC) if all of the following statements are true. Freefile com The parents: Are divorced or legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance, Are separated under a written separation agreement, or Lived apart at all time during the last 6 months of 2013, whether or not they are or were married. Freefile com The child received over half of his or her support for the year from the parents. Freefile com The child is in the custody of one or both parents for more than half of 2013. Freefile com Either of the following statements is true. Freefile com The custodial parent signs Form 8332 or a substantially similar statement that he or she will not claim the child as a dependent for the year, and the noncustodial parent attaches the form or statement to his or her return. Freefile com If the divorce decree or separation agreement went into effect after 1984 and before 2009, the noncustodial parent may be able to attach certain pages from the decree or agreement instead of Form 8332. Freefile com A pre-1985 decree of divorce or separate maintenance or written separation agreement that applies to 2013 provides that the noncustodial parent can claim the child as a dependent, and the noncustodial parent provides at least $600 for support of the child during 2013. Freefile com For details, see Publication 501. Freefile com Also see Applying Rule 9 to divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart), next. Freefile com Applying Rule 9 to divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart). Freefile com   If a child is treated as the qualifying child of the noncustodial parent under the special rule just described for children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart), only the noncustodial parent can claim an exemption and the child tax credit for the child. Freefile com However, the custodial parent, if eligible, or another eligible taxpayer can claim the child as a qualifying child for the EIC and other tax benefits listed earlier in this chapter. Freefile com If the child is the qualifying child of more than one person for these benefits, then the tiebreaker rules determine which person can treat the child as a qualifying child. Freefile com Example 1. Freefile com You and your 5-year-old son lived all year with your mother, who paid the entire cost of keeping up the home. Freefile com Your AGI is $10,000. Freefile com Your mother’s AGI is $25,000. Freefile com Your son's father did not live with you or your son. Freefile com Under the Special rule for divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart), your son is treated as the qualifying child of his father, who can claim an exemption and the child tax credit for the child. Freefile com However, your son's father cannot claim your son as a qualifying child for head of household filing status, the credit for child and dependent care expenses, the exclusion for dependent care benefits, or the EIC. Freefile com You and your mother did not have any child care expenses or dependent care benefits. Freefile com If you do not claim your son as a qualifying child, your mother can claim him as a qualifying child for the EIC and head of household filing status, if she qualifies for these tax benefits. Freefile com Example 2. Freefile com The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that your AGI is $25,000 and your mother's AGI is $21,000. Freefile com Your mother cannot claim your son as a qualifying child for any purpose because her AGI is not higher than yours. Freefile com Example 3. Freefile com The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that you and your mother both claim your son as a qualifying child for the EIC. Freefile com Your mother also claims him as a qualifying child for head of household filing status. Freefile com You as the child's parent will be the only one allowed to claim your son as a qualifying child for the EIC. Freefile com The IRS will disallow your mother's claim to the EIC and head of household filing status unless she has another qualifying child. Freefile com Rule 10—You Cannot Be a Qualifying Child of Another Taxpayer You are a qualifying child of another taxpayer (your parent, guardian, foster parent, etc. Freefile com ) if all of the following statements are true. Freefile com You are that person's son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, or a descendant of any of them. Freefile com Or, you are that person's brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant of any of them. Freefile com You were: Under age 19 at the end of the year and younger than that person (or that person's spouse, if the person files jointly), Under age 24 at the end of the year, a student, and younger than that person (or that person's spouse, if the person files jointly), or Permanently and totally disabled, regardless of age. Freefile com You lived with that person in the United States for more than half of the year. Freefile com You are not filing a joint return for the year (or are filing a joint return only to claim a refund of withheld income tax or estimated tax paid). Freefile com For more details about the tests to be a qualifying child, see Rule 8. Freefile com If you are a qualifying child of another taxpayer, you cannot claim the EIC. Freefile com This is true even if the person for whom you are a qualifying child does not claim the EIC or meet all of the rules to claim the EIC. Freefile com Put “No” beside line 64a (Form 1040) or line 38a (Form 1040A). Freefile com Example. Freefile com You and your daughter lived with your mother all year. Freefile com You are 22 years old, unmarried, and attended a trade school full time. Freefile com You had a part-time job and earned $5,700. Freefile com You had no other income. Freefile com Because you meet the relationship, age, residency, and joint return tests, you are a qualifying child of your mother. Freefile com She can claim the EIC if she meets all the other requirements. Freefile com Because you are your mother's qualifying child, you cannot claim the EIC. Freefile com This is so even if your mother cannot or does not claim the EIC. Freefile com Child of person not required to file a return. Freefile com   You are not the qualifying child of another taxpayer (and so may qualify to claim the EIC) if the person for whom you met the relationship, age, residency, and joint return tests is not required to file an income tax return and either: Does not file an income tax return, or Files a return only to get a refund of income tax withheld or estimated tax paid. Freefile com Example 1—return not required. Freefile com The facts are the same as in the last example except your mother had no gross income, is not required to file a 2013 tax return, and does not file a 2013 tax return. Freefile com As a result, you are not your mother's qualifying child. Freefile com You can claim the EIC if you meet all the other requirements to do so. Freefile com Example 2—return filed to get refund of tax withheld. Freefile com The facts are the same as in Example 1 except your mother had wages of $1,500 and had income tax withheld from her wages. Freefile com She files a return only to get a refund of the income tax withheld and does not claim the EIC or any other tax credits or deductions. Freefile com As a result, you are not your mother's qualifying child. Freefile com You can claim the EIC if you meet all the other requirements to do so. Freefile com Example 3—return filed to get EIC. Freefile com The facts are the same as in Example 2 except your mother claimed the EIC on her return. Freefile com Since she filed the return to get the EIC, she is not filing it only to get a refund of income tax withheld. Freefile com As a result, you are your mother's qualifying child. Freefile com You cannot claim the EIC. Freefile com Chapter 3—Rules If You Do Not Have a Qualifying Child Use this chapter if you do not have a qualifying child and have met all the rules in chapter 1. Freefile com This chapter discusses Rules 11 through 14. Freefile com You must meet all four of those rules, in addition to the rules in chapters 1 and 4, to qualify for the earned income credit without a qualifying child. Freefile com You can file Form 1040, Form 1040A, or Form 1040EZ to claim the EIC without a qualifying child. Freefile com If you meet all the rules in chapter 1 and this chapter, read chapter 4 to find out what to do next. Freefile com If you have a qualifying child. Freefile com   If you meet Rule 8, you have a qualifying child. Freefile com If you meet Rule 8 and do not claim the EIC with a qualifying child, you cannot claim the EIC without a qualifying child. Freefile com Rule 11—You Must Be at Least Age 25 but Under Age 65 You must be at least age 25 but under age 65 at the end of 2013. Freefile com If you are married filing a joint return, either you or your spouse must be at least age 25 but under age 65 at the end of 2013. Freefile com It does not matter which spouse meets the age test, as long as one of the spouses does. Freefile com You meet the age test if you were born after December 31, 1948, and before January 2, 1989. Freefile com If you are married filing a joint return, you meet the age test if either you or your spouse was born after December 31, 1948, and before January 2, 1989. Freefile com If neither you nor your spouse meets the age test, you cannot claim the EIC. Freefile com Put “No” next to line 64a (Form 1040), line 38a (Form 1040A), or line 8a (Form 1040EZ). Freefile com Death of spouse. Freefile com   If you are filing a joint return with your spouse who died in 2013, you meet the age test if your spouse was at least age 25 but under age 65 at the time of death. Freefile com Example 1. Freefile com You are age 28 and unmarried. Freefile com You meet the age test. Freefile com Example 2—spouse meets age test. Freefile com You are married and filing a joint return. Freefile com You are age 23 and your spouse is age 27. Freefile com You meet the age test because your spouse is at least age 25 but under age 65. Freefile com Example 3—spouse dies in 2013. Freefile com You are married and filing a joint return with your spouse who died in August 2013. Freefile com You are age 67. Freefile com Your spouse would have become age 65 in November 2013. Freefile com Because your spouse was under age 65 when she died, you meet the age test. Freefile com Rule 12—You Cannot Be the Dependent of Another Person If you are not filing a joint return, you meet this rule if: You checked box 6a on Form 1040 or 1040A, or You did not check the “You” box on line 5 of Form 1040EZ, and you entered $10,000 on that line. Freefile com If you are filing a joint return, you meet this rule if: You checked both box 6a and box 6b on Form 1040 or 1040A, or You and your spouse did not check either the “You” box or the “Spouse” box on line 5 of Form 1040EZ, and you entered $20,000 on that line. Freefile com If you are not sure whether someone else can claim you as a dependent, get Publication 501 and read the rules for claiming a dependent. Freefile com If someone else can claim you as a dependent on his or her return, but does not, you still cannot claim the credit. Freefile com Example 1. Freefile com In 2013, you were age 25, single, and living at home with your parents. Freefile com You worked and were not a student. Freefile com You earned $7,500. Freefile com Your parents cannot claim you as a dependent. Freefile com When you file your return, you claim an exemption for yourself by not checking the You box on line 5 of your Form 1040EZ and by entering $10,000 on that line. Freefile com You meet this rule. Freefile com You can claim the EIC if you meet all the other requirements. Freefile com Example 2. Freefile com The facts are the same as in Example 1, except that you earned $2,000. Freefile com Your parents can claim you as a dependent but decide not to. Freefile com You do not meet this rule. Freefile com You cannot claim the credit because your parents could have claimed you as a dependent. Freefile com Joint returns. Freefile com   You generally cannot be claimed as a dependent by another person if you are married and file a joint return. Freefile com   However, another person may be able to claim you as a dependent if you and your spouse file a joint return merely to claim a refund of income tax withheld or estimated tax paid. Freefile com But neither you nor your spouse can be claimed as a dependent by another person if you claim the EIC on your joint return. Freefile com Example 1—return filed to get refund of tax withheld. Freefile com You are 26 years old. Freefile com You and your wife live with your parents and had $800 of wages from part-time jobs and no other income. Freefile com Neither you nor your wife is required to file a tax return. Freefile com You do not have a child. Freefile com Taxes were taken out of your pay so you file a joint return only to get a refund of the withheld taxes. Freefile com Your parents are not disqualified from claiming an exemption for you just because you filed a joint return. Freefile com They can claim exemptions for you and your wife if all the other tests to do so are met. Freefile com Example 2—return filed to get EIC. Freefile com The facts are the same as in Example 1except no taxes were taken out of your pay. Freefile com Also, you and your wife are not required to file a tax return, but you file a joint return to claim an EIC of $63 and get a refund of that amount. Freefile com Because claiming the EIC is your reason for filing the return, you are not filing it only to claim a refund of income tax withheld or estimated tax paid. Freefile com Your parents cannot claim an exemption for either you or your wife. Freefile com Rule 13—You Cannot Be a Qualifying Child of Another Taxpayer You are a qualifying child of another taxpayer (your parent, guardian, foster parent, etc. Freefile com ) if all of the following statements are true. Freefile com You are that person's son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, or a descendant of any of them. Freefile com Or, you are that person's brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant of any of them. Freefile com You were: Under age 19 at the end of the year and younger than that person (or that person's spouse, if the person files jointly), Under age 24 at the end of the year, a student, and younger than that person (or that person's spouse, if the person files jointly), or Permanently and totally disabled, regardless of age. Freefile com You lived with that person in the United States for more than half of the year. Freefile com You are not filing a joint return for the year (or are filing a joint return only to claim a refund of withheld income tax or estimated tax paid). Freefile com For more details about the tests to be a qualifying child, see Rule 8. Freefile com If you are a qualifying child of another taxpayer, you cannot claim the EIC. Freefile com This is true even if the person for whom you are a qualifying child does not claim the EIC or meet all of the rules to claim the EIC. Freefile com Put “No” next to line 64a (Form 1040), line 38a (Form 1040A), or line 8a (Form 1040EZ). Freefile com Example. Freefile com You lived with your mother all year. Freefile com You are age 26, unmarried, and permanently and totally disabled. Freefile com Your only income was from a community center where you went three days a week to answer telephones. Freefile com You earned $5,000 for the year and provided more than half of your own support. Freefile com Because you meet the relationship, age, residency, and joint return tests, you are a qualifying child of your mother for the EIC. Freefile com She can claim the EIC if she meets all the other requirements. Freefile com Because you are a qualifying child of your mother, you cannot claim the EIC. Freefile com This is so even if your mother cannot or does not claim the EIC. Freefile com Joint returns. Freefile com   You generally cannot be a qualifying child of another taxpayer if you are married and file a joint return. Freefile com   However, you may be a qualifying child of another taxpayer if you and your spouse file a joint return merely to claim a refund of income tax withheld or estimated tax paid. Freefile com But neither you nor your spouse can be a qualifying child of another taxpayer if you claim the EIC on your joint return. Freefile com Child of person not required to file a return. Freefile com   You are not the qualifying child of another taxpayer (and so may qualify to claim the EIC) if the person for whom you meet the relationship, age, residency, and joint return tests is not required to file an income tax return and either: Does not file an income tax return, or Files a return only to get a refund of income tax withheld or estimated tax paid. Freefile com Example 1—return not required. Freefile com You lived all year with your father. Freefile com You are 27 years old, unmarried, permanently and totally disabled, and earned $13,000. Freefile com You have no other income, no children, and provided more than half of your own support. Freefile com Your father had no gross income, is not required to file a 2013 tax return, and does not file a 2013 tax return. Freefile com As a result, you are not your father's qualifying child. Freefile com You can claim the EIC if you meet all the other requirements to do so. Freefile com Example 2—return filed to get refund of tax withheld. Freefile com The facts are the same as in Example 1 except your father had wages of $1,500 and had income tax withheld from his wages. Freefile com He files a return only to get a refund of the income tax withheld and does not claim the EIC or any other tax credits or deductions. Freefile com As a result, you are not your father's qualifying child. Freefile com You can claim the EIC if you meet all the other requirements to do so. Freefile com Example 3—return filed to get EIC. Freefile com The facts are the same as in Example 2 except your father claimed the EIC on his return. Freefile com Since he filed the return to get the EIC, he is not filing it only to get a refund of income tax withheld. Freefile com As a result, you are your father's qualifying child. Freefile com You cannot claim the EIC. Freefile com Rule 14—You Must Have Lived in the United States More Than Half of the Year Your home (and your spouse's, if filing a joint return) must have been in the United States for more than half the year. Freefile com If it was not, put “No” next to line 64a (Form 1040), line 38a (Form 1040A), or line 8a (Form 1040EZ). Freefile com United States. Freefile com   This means the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Freefile com It does not include Puerto Rico or U. Freefile com S. Freefile com possessions such as Guam. Freefile com Homeless shelter. Freefile com   Your home can be any location where you regularly live. Freefile com You do not need a traditional home. Freefile com If you lived in one or more homeless shelters in the United States for more than half the year, you meet this rule. Freefile com Military personnel stationed outside the United States. Freefile com   U. Freefile com S. Freefile com military personnel stationed outside the United States on extended active duty (defined in chapter 2) are considered to live in the United States during that duty period for purposes of the EIC. Freefile com Chapter 4—Figuring and Claiming the EIC You must meet one more rule to claim the EIC. Freefile com You need to know the amount of your earned income to see if you meet the rule in this chapter. Freefile com You also need to know that amount to figure your EIC. Freefile com Rule 15—Earned Income Limits Your earned income must be less than: $46,227 ($51,567 for married filing jointly) if you have three or more qualifying children, $43,038 ($48,378 for married filing jointly) if you have two qualifying children, $37,870 ($43,210 for married filing jointly) if you have one qualifying child, or $14,340 ($19,680 for married filing jointly) if you do not have a qualifying child. Freefile com Earned Income Earned income generally means wages, salaries, tips, other taxable employee pay, and net earnings from self-employment. Freefile com Employee pay is earned income only if it is taxable. Freefile com Nontaxable employee pay, such as certain dependent care benefits and adoption benefits, is not earned income. Freefile com But there is an exception for nontaxable combat pay, which you can choose to include in earned income. Freefile com Earned income is explained in detail in Rule 7 in chapter 1. Freefile com Figuring earned income. Freefile com   If you are self-employed, a statutory employee, or a member of the clergy or a church employee who files Schedule SE (Form 1040), you will figure your earned income when you fill out Part 4 of EIC Worksheet B in the Form 1040 instructions. Freefile com   Otherwise, figure your earned income by using the worksheet in Step 5 of the Form 1040 instructions for lines 64a and 64b or the Form 1040A instructions for lines 38a and 38b, or the worksheet in Step 2 of the Form 1040EZ instructions for lines 8a and 8b. Freefile com   When using one of those worksheets to figure your earned income, you will start with the amount on line 7 (Form 1040 or Form 1040A) or line 1 (Form 1040EZ). Freefile com You will then reduce that amount by any amount included on that line and described in the following list. Freefile com Scholarship or fellowship grants not reported on a Form W-2. Freefile com A scholarship or fellowship grant that was not reported to you on a Form W-2 is not considered earned income for the earned income credit. Freefile com Inmate's income. Freefile com Amounts received for work performed while an inmate in a penal institution are not earned income for the earned income credit. Freefile com This includes amounts received for work performed while in a work release program or while in a halfway house. Freefile com If you received any amount for work done while an inmate in a penal institution and that amount is included in the total on line 7 (Form 1040 or Form 1040A) or line 1 (Form 1040EZ), put “PRI” and the amount on the dotted line next to line 7 (Form 1040), in the space to the left of the entry space for line 7 (Form 1040A), or in the space to the left of line 1 (Form 1040EZ). Freefile com Pension or annuity from deferred compensation plans. Freefile com A pension or annuity from a nonqualified deferred compensation plan or a nongovernmental section 457 plan is not considered earned income for the earned income credit. Freefile com If you received such an amount and it was included in the total on line 7 (Form 1040 or Form 1040A) or line 1 (Form 1040EZ), put “DFC” and the amount on the dotted line next to line 7 (Form 1040), in the space to the left of the entry space for line 7 (Form 1040A), or in the space to the left of line 1 (Form 1040EZ). Freefile com This amount may be reported in box 11 of your Form W-2. Freefile com If you received such an amount but box 11 is blank, contact your employer for the amount received as a pension or an annuity. Freefile com Clergy. Freefile com   If you are a member of the clergy who files Schedule SE and the amount on line 2 of that schedule includes an amount that was also re
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Freefile com 4. Freefile com   Retirement Savings Contributions Credit (Saver's Credit) Table of Contents What's New Introduction Full-time student. Freefile com Adjusted gross income. Freefile com Distributions received by spouse. Freefile com Testing period. Freefile com What's New Modified AGI limit for retirement savings contributions credit increased. Freefile com  For 2013, you may be able to claim the retirement savings contributions credit if your modified AGI is not more than: $59,000 if your filing status is married filing jointly, $44,250 if your filing status is head of household, or $29,500 if your filing status is single, married filing separately, or qualifying widow(er). Freefile com Introduction You may be able to take a tax credit if you make eligible contributions (defined later) to a qualified retirement plan, an eligible deferred compensation plan, or an individual retirement arrangement (IRA). Freefile com You may be able to take a credit of up to $1,000 (up to $2,000 if filing jointly). Freefile com This credit could reduce the federal income tax you pay dollar for dollar. Freefile com    Can you claim the credit?   If you make eligible contributions to a qualified retirement plan, an eligible deferred compensation plan, or an IRA, you can claim the credit if all of the following apply. Freefile com You were born before January 2, 1996. Freefile com You are not a full-time student (explained next). Freefile com No one else, such as your parent(s), claims an exemption for you on their tax return. Freefile com Your adjusted gross income (defined below) is not more than: $59,000 if your filing status is married filing jointly, $44,250 if your filing status is head of household, or $29,500 if your filing status is single, married filing separately, or qualifying widow(er). Freefile com Full-time student. Freefile com   You are a full-time student if, during some part of each of 5 calendar months (not necessarily consecutive) during the calendar year, you are either: A full-time student at a school that has a regular teaching staff, course of study, and regularly enrolled body of students in attendance, or A student taking a full-time, on-farm training course given by either a school that has a regular teaching staff, course of study, and regularly enrolled body of students in attendance, or a state, county, or local government. Freefile com You are a full-time student if you are enrolled for the number of hours or courses the school considers to be full time. Freefile com Adjusted gross income. Freefile com   This is generally the amount on line 38 of your 2013 Form 1040; line 22 of your 2013 Form 1040A; or line 37 of your 2013 Form 1040NR. Freefile com However, you must add to that amount any exclusion or deduction claimed for the year for: Foreign earned income, Foreign housing costs, Income for bona fide residents of American Samoa, and Income from Puerto Rico. Freefile com Eligible contributions. Freefile com   These include: Contributions to a traditional or Roth IRA, Salary reduction contributions (elective deferrals, including amounts designated as after-tax Roth contributions) to: A 401(k) plan (including a SIMPLE 401(k)), A section 403(b) annuity, An eligible deferred compensation plan of a state or local government (a governmental 457 plan), A SIMPLE IRA plan, or A salary reduction SEP, and Contributions to a section 501(c)(18) plan. Freefile com They also include voluntary after-tax employee contributions to a tax-qualified retirement plan or section 403(b) annuity. Freefile com For purposes of the credit, an employee contribution will be voluntary as long as it is not required as a condition of employment. Freefile com Reducing eligible contributions. Freefile com   Reduce your eligible contributions (but not below zero) by the total distributions you received during the testing period (defined later) from any IRA, plan, or annuity included above under Eligible contributions. Freefile com Also reduce your eligible contributions by any distribution from a Roth IRA that is not rolled over, even if the distribution is not taxable. Freefile com   Do not reduce your eligible contributions by any of the following. Freefile com The portion of any distribution which is not includible in income because it is a trustee-to-trustee transfer or a rollover distribution. Freefile com Distributions that are taxable as the result of an in-plan rollover to your designated Roth account. Freefile com Any distribution that is a return of a contribution to an IRA (including a Roth IRA) made during the year for which you claim the credit if: The distribution is made before the due date (including extensions) of your tax return for that year, You do not take a deduction for the contribution, and The distribution includes any income attributable to the contribution. Freefile com Loans from a qualified employer plan treated as a distribution. Freefile com Distributions of excess contributions or deferrals (and income attributable to excess contributions and deferrals). Freefile com Distributions of dividends paid on stock held by an employee stock ownership plan under section 404(k). Freefile com Distributions from an eligible retirement plan that are converted or rolled over to a Roth IRA. Freefile com Distributions from a military retirement plan. Freefile com Distributions from an inherited IRA by a nonspousal beneficiary. Freefile com Distributions received by spouse. Freefile com   Any distributions your spouse receives are treated as received by you if you file a joint return with your spouse both for the year of the distribution and for the year for which you claim the credit. Freefile com Testing period. Freefile com   The testing period consists of the year for which you claim the credit, the period after the end of that year and before the due date (including extensions) for filing your return for that year, and the 2 tax years before that year. Freefile com Example. Freefile com You and your spouse filed joint returns in 2011 and 2012, and plan to do so in 2013 and 2014. Freefile com You received a taxable distribution from a qualified plan in 2011 and a taxable distribution from an eligible deferred compensation plan in 2012. Freefile com Your spouse received taxable distributions from a Roth IRA in 2013 and tax-free distributions from a Roth IRA in 2014 before April 15. Freefile com You made eligible contributions to an IRA in 2013 and you otherwise qualify for this credit. Freefile com You must reduce the amount of your qualifying contributions in 2013 by the total of the distributions you received in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. Freefile com Maximum eligible contributions. Freefile com   After your contributions are reduced, the maximum annual contribution on which you can base the credit is $2,000 per person. Freefile com Effect on other credits. Freefile com   The amount of this credit will not change the amount of your refundable tax credits. Freefile com A refundable tax credit, such as the earned income credit or the refundable amount of your child tax credit, is an amount that you would receive as a refund even if you did not otherwise owe any taxes. Freefile com Maximum credit. Freefile com   This is a nonrefundable credit. Freefile com The amount of the credit in any year cannot be more than the amount of tax that you would otherwise pay (not counting any refundable credits) in any year. Freefile com If your tax liability is reduced to zero because of other nonrefundable credits, such as the credit for child and dependent care expenses, then you will not be entitled to this credit. Freefile com How to figure and report the credit. Freefile com   The amount of the credit you can get is based on the contributions you make and your credit rate. Freefile com Your credit rate can be as low as 10% or as high as 50%. Freefile com Your credit rate depends on your income and your filing status. Freefile com See Form 8880 to determine your credit rate. Freefile com   The maximum contribution taken into account is $2,000 per person. Freefile com On a joint return, up to $2,000 is taken into account for each spouse. Freefile com   Figure the credit on Form 8880. Freefile com Report the credit on line 50 of your Form 1040; line 32 of your Form 1040A; or line 47 of your Form 1040NR and attach Form 8880 to your return. Freefile com Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications