What is a Qualifying Child for the Earned Income Tax Credit?

By | February 6, 2014

What are the requirements necessary for qualifying children for the earned income tax credit?


Having qualifying children will allow a taxpayer to increase the amount that they can claim on the EITC or earned income credit. Generally, a qualifying child for purposes of claiming the earned income credit is generally the same as for claiming the dependency exemption without regard to the support test. The next part discusses several differences that must be met in order for a child to “qualify” for earned income tax credit purposes.


What is a Qualifying Child for the Earned Income Tax Credit?

  • For the residency test, the child must have the same principal place of abode as the taxpayer for more than half of the tax year and the abode must be located within the United States.
  • A qualifying child for the earned income credit does not include a child who is married unless the taxpayer is entitled to claim him or her as a dependent.
  • The taxpayer claiming the qualifying child must include the name, age and taxpayer identification number of the qualifying child on the return.
  • Finally, the rules for determining among several taxpayers who may claim a child as a qualifying child for purposes of the earned income credit are the same as for determining who may claim a qualifying child for the dependency exemption


It is very important to remember that an individual who does not have a qualifying child may be eligible for the credit if:

  • the principal residence of such individual is in the United States for more than half of the tax year,
  • the individual is at least age 25 and under age 65 before the close of the tax year, and
  • the individual is not claimed as a dependent by another

If you meet these requirements, it is not necessary to have a child to be able to claim the earned income tax credit. Although, without children, the amount of the credit will be lower. There are EITC tables which can show the amount that will be credited or refunded to the taxpayer.