The earned income tax credit is a refund that can be claimed by certain low-income individuals who have earned income from employment.
If married filing jointly, earned income and adjusted gross income must be under $33,030 with one “qualifying” child (as defined by the IRS); under $37,263 with more than one qualifying child; and under $13,750 with no qualifying child.
Generally, for married taxpayers, a joint tax return is required to claim the earned income credit. A separated spouse may be able to file a separate return to claim the earned income credit if certain conditions are met.
“Income” for the earned income credit excludes child support but not alimony. Non-taxable income, such as certain retirement income or contributions to a retirement plan, is also excluded income.