Questions & Answers

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 2021
  3. Was under age 19 at the end of 2021, was under age 24 and a student at the end of 2021, or any age and permanently and totally disabled
A child is considered to have lived with you for more than half of 2021 if the child was born or died in 2021 and your home was this child's home for more than half the time he or she was alive in 2021. Similarly, an adopted child or eligible foster child is considered to have lived with you for more than half of 2021 if the child lived with you for more than half of the time since he or she was adopted or placed with you in 2021.

Temporary absences by you or the child for special circumstances, such as for school, vacation, business, medical care, military service, or detention in a juvenile facility, count as time lived with you.

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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