What is a qualifying child for the Earned Income Credit (EIC)?

A qualifying child for the EIC is a child who meets the following 3 tests:
  1. Is a son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant of any of them (for example, your grandchild, niece or nephew)
  2. Lived with you in the United States for more than half of 2013
  3. Was under age 19 at the end of 2013, was under age 24 and a student at the end of 2013, or any age and permanently and totally disabled
A child is considered to have lived with you for all of 2013 if the child was born or died in 2013 and your home was this child's home for the entire time he or she was alive in 2013. Temporary absences for special circumstances, such as for school, vacation, medical care, military service, or detention in a juvenile facility, count as time lived at home.

To be your qualifying child, a child must be younger than you unless the child is permanently and totally disabled.

A child cannot be your qualifying child if he or she files a joint return, unless the return was filed only as a claim for refund.

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