Do I qualify for the Earned Income Credit?

Earned income and related questions

Updated over a week ago

This article was updated for Tax Year 2023, last edited on December 21st, 2023.

What is the Earned Income Credit?

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is meant to help low to moderate income households lower their taxes and possibly increase their refund. Earned income includes taxable income from your W-2, your 1099 as an independent contractor or gig worker, self-employment or any business you own.

How can I claim the Earned Income Credit?

To qualify for this credit, you need:

Below is the EITC table for the tax year 2023

Children or Relatives Claimed

Filing as Single, Head of Household, or Widowed

Filing as Married Filing Jointly










Three or more



There is an investment income limit of $11,000 or less.

Children or relatives claimed

Maximum credit amount for 2023







Three or more


What does not qualify as earned income for this credit?

  • Pay you got for work when you were an inmate in a penal institution

  • Interest and dividends

  • Pensions or annuities

  • Social Security

  • Unemployment benefits

  • Alimony

  • Child support

Note: Claiming this credit may cause your refund to be delayed. By law, the IRS must wait until mid-February to issue refunds to taxpayers who claim the Earned Income Tax Credit.

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