Claiming EITC and Joint Custody of Children

By | February 5, 2014

Question about Claiming EITC with Children

“I have joint custody of my children with the courts granting me the right to claim them on my taxes for the earned income credit. How do I go about when filing my taxes listing that on them?”


Claiming EITC and Joint Custody of Children

Remember that the EITC is a benefit for certain people who work and have low to moderate wages. A tax credit means more money in your pocket. It reduces the amount of tax you owe and may also give you a refund. Your AGI must each be less than a certain amount that depends on the amount of children you have.



If your AGI reported on 1040 line 38 is equal to or more than the applicable limit listed, you cannot claim the EIC. All wage or salary income, as well as any self-employment earnings, count toward the eligibility limits. So do investment earnings. In fact, if you make more than $3,150 in investment income, you cannot file for the earned income credit. Be careful to properly compute these amounts as the IRS is recently cracking down harder on EITC Fraud.


Married Couples Claiming EITC

Married couples who file separate returns are not eligible for the earned income credit. If you are married but your spouse did not live in your home for the last six months of the year, you may be able to file as head of household and take the credit.As long as you qualify for EITC, you have to file a tax return with the IRS, even if you owe no tax or are not required to file.

If you are claiming the Earned Income Credit and you have one or more qualifying children:You must use either Form 1040A or Form 1040. You cannot use Form 1040EZ;You must also include Sch EIC.Schedule EIC is a simple one-page form that asks for information about your qualifying child(ren) such as name, Social Security number, date of birth, and age. See Schedule EIC on the IRS web site for more information.


Claiming EITC and Joint Custody of Children Calculation

The IRS will calculate your Earned Income Credit for you if you ask them to do so. You can find specific instructions on how to have the IRS compute the EIC for you in Publication 17: Your Federal Income Tax, Part 6-29: How to Figure Your Income Tax, on the IRS web site. You can prepare and file your tax return to claim the Earned Income Credit in several ways.


Free Income Tax Filing for EITC

For some programs, you must meet income or age requirements. Tax filing options include:free income tax assistance and filing at VITA or TCE sites;Free File Brand-Name Software (commercial tax programs);Free File Fillable Forms (online federal tax forms); for vita program; visit the website here; Free Tax Return Preparation for You by Volunteers In many cases you will be able to electronically file (e-file) your tax return. If you cannot e-file your tax return, you can mail your return to the IRS. Please visit the Website here; EITC Income Limits, Maximum Credit Amounts and Tax Law Updates.