2017, 2016 and 2015 Earned Income Tax Credit (EIC) Qualification Income Limits

You can see the latest EIC tables (2020 and beyond) in this updated Earned Income Tax credit (EITC) page


[Updated] Below are the final IRS published 2016 and 2017 Earned Income Tax credit (EITC) figures. You can reference IRS publication 596 or use online tax providers like TurboTax or H&R Block to get a free estimate of the specific credit amount you would get.

How to read the EITC tables: The maximum earned income credit allowed/payable for the given tax year is shown in line 1. To start claiming this credit you must have at least $1 of earned income, with line 2 showing the minimum amount of earned income required to get the maximum earned income tax credit.

The amount of credit you receive or qualify for varies based on income and number of children so will differ from person to person. Earned income includes all the taxable income such as Wages, salaries, and tips, certain disability benefits and self-employment earnings.

The “Phaseout Threshold Amount Begins“ (lines 3 and 5 depending on filing status) and “Phaseout Amount When Credit Ends” (lines 4 and 6 depending on filing status) are the adjusted gross income (AGI) ranges from where the EITC begins to phase out to where it reaches $0, or the income at or above which no credit is allowed.

Or said another way you need to earn between $1 and the amounts in line 4 or 6 (based on filing statues) to get at least some of the EIC. If your income is between lines 3 and 4 (single filer) or lines 5 and 6 (married) then you get the FULL EIC for the year.

2017 Earned Income Tax Credit (for Returns Filed in 2018)

Income Qualification ItemNo ChildrenWith 1 ChildWith 2 ChildrenWith 3+ Children
1. Max. 2017 Earned Income Tax Credit Amount$510$3,400$5,616$6,318
2. Earned Income (lower limit) required to get maximum credit $6,670$10,000$14,040$14,040
3. Phaseout Threshold Amount Begins
(for Single, SS, or Head of Household)
$8,340$18,340$18,340$18,340
4. Phaseout Amount When Credit Ends
(for Single, SS, or Head of Household)
$15,010$39,617$45,007$48,340
5. Phaseout Threshold Amount Begins
(for Married Filing Jointly)
$13,930$23,930$23,930$23,930
6. Phaseout Amount When Credit Ends
(for Married Filing Jointly)
$20,600$45,207$50,597$53,930
Check out the  latest online tax software deals for filing your return and claiming this credit.

2016 Earned Income Tax Credit (For Returns Filed in 2017)

Income Qualification ItemNo ChildrenWith 1 ChildWith 2 ChildrenWith 3+ Children
1. Maximum 2016 Earned Income Tax Credit Amount$506$3,373$5,572$6,269
2. Earned Income (lower limit) required to get maximum credit $6,610$9,920 $13,930 $13,930
3. Phaseout Threshold Amount Begins
(for Single, SS, or Head of Household)
$8,270$18,190 $18,190 $18,190
4. Phaseout Amount When Credit Ends
(for Single, SS, or Head of Household)
$14,880$39,296$44,648$47,955
5. Threshold Phaseout Amount Begins
(for Married Filing Jointly)
$13,820$23,740$23,740$23,740
6. Phaseout Amount When Credit Ends
(for Married Filing Jointly)
$20,430$44,846$50,198$53,505

2015 Earned Income Tax Credit (For Returns Filed in 2016)

Income Qualification ItemNo ChildrenWith 1 ChildWith 2 ChildrenWith 3+ Children
1. Maximum 2015 Earned Income Tax Credit Amount$503$3,359$5,548$6,242
2. Earned Income (lower limit) required to get maximum credit $6,580$9,880 $13,870 $13,870
3. Phaseout Threshold Amount Begins
(for Single, SS, or Head of Household)
$8,240$18,110 $18,110$18,110
4. Phaseout Amount When Credit Ends
(for Single, SS, or Head of Household)
$14,820$39,131$44,454$47,747
5. Threshold Phaseout Amount Begins
(for Married Filing Jointly)
$13,760$23,630$23,630$23,630
6. Phaseout Amount When Credit Ends
(for Married Filing Jointly)
$20,340$44,651$49,974$53,267

Example on figuring the EITC: Your AGI is $46,000, you are single, and you have two qualifying children. You cannot claim the EITC because your AGI is not less than the completed (maximum) phase out limit of $44,454. However, if your filing status was married filing jointly, you would be able to claim some of the EITC because your AGI is less than $49,974 complete phase out limit. However, you cannot get the full EITC because your income is above the $23,630 threshold phase amount. Further scenarios are shown below:

Scenario 1: Andrea has an earned income of $1,200 for the year – Andrea would be entitled to a partial credit since she her earned income is less than the “Earned Income (lower limit) required to get maximum credit” per line 2. The amount of credit would vary based on the number of qualifying children. You can reference IRS publication 596 or use online tax providers like TurboTax or H&R Block to get a free estimate of the specific credit amount you would get

Scenario 2:  Rachelle has 1 child and an earned income of 15,000 for the year – Rachelle is entitled to the full EIC credit for a single filer with 2 children since her earned income is above the “Earned Income (lower limit) required to get the maximum credit” on line 2 but below the “Phaseout Threshold Amount Begins” on line 3.

Scenario 3:  Joe and Mary have an earned income of $45,000 and 2 children – Joe and Mary would be entitled to a partial EIC credit for a married couple with 2 children since their earned income is above the “Threshold Phaseout Amount Begins” on line 5 but below the “Phaseout Amount When Credit Ends” on line 6. If your situation is similar reference IRS publication 596 or use online tax providers like TurboTax or H&R Block to get a free estimate of the specific credit amount you would be entitled to.

Scenario 4: Craig and Lina have earned income of $120,000 for the year – They would not be entitled to the credit at all since their earned income is above the “Phaseout Amount When Credit Ends” on line 6

Scenario 5 : Sandy made a little over 9500 for the year and has 3 dependents.  Does she get any of the EIC? To quality for the EITC you need to make just $1 of earned income. The lower and upper end of the income ranges are what matter more for the amount of credit you get. So based on the 2016 EITC table (for 2017 tax filing) and assuming you are married/filing a joint return with 3 deps/children, the max you can make to get any part of the ETIC is $53,505. Incomes between $13,930 and $23,740 get the full EITC ($6,269), but is lower (phases out) between $1 and $13,930 and between $23,740 and $53,505. Since you income is between $1 and $23,740 you would be eligible for a partial credit. You can use any tax filing software to get an exact estimate base on your other tax items.

Also in 2015, the earned income tax credit cannot be claimed if the aggregate amount of certain investment income exceeds $3,400.

Further, you have to file a tax return with the IRS to claim the EITC, even if you owe no tax or are not required to file. You can get help with figuring the EIC by following  instructions in IRS publication 596 or use online tax filing software which can also help you work through figuring your credit eligibility and determine the amount you would receive.

You may also qualify for the Child tax credit in addition to the EIC. See 7 Requirements for the Child Tax Credit

Subscribe via email or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube to get the latest news and updates

163 thoughts on “2017, 2016 and 2015 Earned Income Tax Credit (EIC) Qualification Income Limits”

  1. What is the difference between EIC tax credit and child tax credit? Do ages of children affect qualifying for either?

    Reply
  2. I have teo chlidren with autism, I made 15,000 in babysitting, and I collected ssi disability payments on is that too much money to make , I am a single mom and I have a total of three children

    Reply
  3. I am married, made 70,000 and my husband made 55,000. We have 2 dependants with a 3rd born at the end of 2016. Am i able to file HOH? And either way, would we or I qualify for eic? If I have to file married, it would be filed separetly.

    Reply
  4. I only made 3,100 in unemployment and 500 in my employment and have children to claim, will I be able to get EIC and child credit tax?

    Reply
  5. So I was wondering…the 7 guidelines to claim a child…have they been the same over the past 5yrs or have they changed?

    Reply
  6. I made 42364.97 and I’m a single mother and files HH… Would I still receive EIC? I’m kind of worried I will have to pay in….

    Reply
  7. I made a little over a $1,000 and im single with no dependents. But im head of household. Is it worth me filing? And if so how much would i get back?

    Reply
    • Assuming 18K is your full AGI for the year, you should get the full EIC credit as your income is between the lower and upper income threshold ranges.

      Reply
  8. I’m confused even though it was some what explained. I made a little over 9500 for the year. I have 3 dependants. From what I can understand do I not get EIC because I didn’t make enough for the minimum?

    Reply
    • To quality for the EITC you need to make just $1 of earned income. The lower and upper end of the income ranges are what matter more for the amount of credit you get. So based on the 2016 EITC table (for 2017 tax filing) and assuming you are married/filing a joint return with 3 deps/children, the max you can make to get any part of the ETIC is $53,505. Incomes between $13,930 and $23,740 get the full EITC ($6,269), but is lower (phases out) between $1 and $13,930 and between $23,740 and $53,505. Since you income is between $1 and $23,740 you would be eligible for a partial credit. You can use any tax filing software (free) to get an exact estimate base on your other tax items.

      Reply
  9. I’m a single mom with two kids and only made $1,000 this year and will be filing head of household. Do I still get the child tax credit or not?

    Reply
  10. If someone could please answer both of these questions, or even just one

    1) If someone has a dependent child under 24 in college, but the child lives in a dorm or somewhere other than the claimants’ residence, can the child be claimed as “qualifying child” for EITC? On the one hand I would think the child fails the residency requirement by living out of the house more than half of the year, but such students often continue to put down their parents’ address as their “permanent address” and I noticed one of the 1040A forms for claiming a qualifying child says “Count time that you or your child is away from home on a temporary absence due to a special
    circumstance as time the child lived with you”, and “school attendance” is listed as a special circumstance. Does it matter if the child was a student the whole year or finished school that tax year?

    2) If absence due to school attendance counts as a “special circumstance”, how long has it been this way? This is for some research on the effects of EITC.

    Reply
    • A student living away at college is still considered to be a dependent living in your home, if the child graduated during the tax year it would depend on whether or not you provided over half the support

      Reply
  11. I made 52000.00 this year before taxes. I own my own business. I am single with three dependents. Will I qualify?

    Reply
  12. I’m married with 2 kids my husband not legal he have a tin # do we get income credit or should I file separate to get the credit for my kids

    Reply
    • If your married then you should file together, especially if he will ever want to become a resident. Immigration will want all your tax forms and returns before they will approve anything

      Reply
    • If you are married but have been separated I believe their is a release form the spouse can sign giving permission for other to claim…. I believe the separation would have had to have been for the full year not sure if your circumstances I cant remember the name of the form you will need to do some reasearch. I was able to use this but many years ago.

      Reply
      • If married you can absolutely file the staus married filing separate. The separate does not mean that you and your spouse were seperated, ot simply means you are married yet choosing to file seperate tax returns. Filed this way for many, many years. It has nothing to do with being physically seperated.

        Reply
  13. I am a single mom if one child I made 40k but with my 401k it brought my taxable wages down to 38,500. Will I quailify at all? Or do they look at what I made after my 401k? Which looks like they will give me something?

    Reply
  14. My husband and I have made 48,000 to 50,000 with approx 2,000 coming from unemployment. we have 4 dependants, would we be eligible.

    Reply
  15. I am 35 and receive SSI benefits. I pay all the bills and for the last 1 1/2 years I have been taking care of my boyfriends daughter financially. I received about 8,796 dollars last yr. Do I qualify for the EIC

    Reply
    • if the father isn’t filing than u can if u meet these requirements: the daughter has to have lived in ur home all of last year, u provided more than 50% support and u have income

      Reply
  16. Do I qualify for eic filing head of household with a 11 year old child in the state of Mississippi. Making roughly 26,ooo a year .

    Reply
    • yes u qualify for the eic but u r in between the phaseout threshold, u should also get child tax credit, good luck!!!

      Reply
      • Last year the credit was around 2100 for that wage range. Plus, you should also qualify for the child tax credit.

        Reply
  17. I made roughly 12,400 claiming 3 dependents and head of household, what is my expected return? Also I became a homeowner this year does that factor in?

    Reply

Leave a Reply to Katherine Cancel reply

Share via
Copy link