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The Earned Income Tax Credit, You Earned It - CLAIM IT!



EITC Eligibility Information

About the EITC

The Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC, is a federal AND N.C. income tax credit that benefits low-and moderate-income working families. The credit is refundable, so if you qualify for a larger amount of EITC than you owe in taxes, the IRS will refund you the difference. You can even get the EITC if you do not owe any taxes and are not required to file a federal tax return based on your income. However, you must file a federal income tax return in order to get the EITC.

Income Limits:

To receive the EITC you must fall under certain income limits that increase with family size. Below is a chart with these limits and the maximum federal and N.C. EITC. The amount of the EITC increases with income, reaches a plateau (the maximum amount) and then slowly decreases. Use the EITC Estimator, to estimate the amount of the EITC for your income. The North Carolina EITC is 5% of the Federal EITC and uses the same eligibility requirements.


Number of Qualifying ChildrenIncome Limit: Earn Less ThanMaxium Federal EITC Maximum N.C. EITC
Three or more$43,998 (49,078 if married filing jointly$5,751$288
Two$40,964 (46,044 if married filing jointly)$5,112$256
One$36,052 ($41,132 if married filing jointly)$3,094$155
None$13,660 ($18,740 if married filing jointly)$464$24
Investment income:Less than $3,150 for all income groups  

Workers who qualify for the EITC must file a federal tax return in order to access the credit, even if they would normally not do so because their earnings are too low to pay taxes. Taxpayers must file either Form 1040 or Form 1040A and attach Schedule EIC

Other Eligibility Criteria:
  • Have earned income from employment or self-employment.
  • If married, filing jointly.
  • Have been a U.S. citizen all year
  • Have a qualifying child not being claimed on another person’s tax return.
    • A qualifying child is:
      • A relative
      • At the end of 2011, under the age of 19, a full-time student under the age of 24, OR any age, if the person has a permanent and total disability at any time during the year
      • Someone who lived with the taxpayer in the U.S. for more than half of the year.
  • If you do not have a qualifying child you must:
    • Be at least 25 years of age or under 65 at the end of 2011;
    • Have lived in the United States for more than half the year (military personnel overseas are considered to be living in the U.S. while on active duty); and
    • Not be the qualifying dependent of another person.

Those with eligible children for the EITC are likely eligible for the non-refundable Child  Tax Credit. For more information, check out the Other Valuable Tax Credits page.