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You need earned income to qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit. There are two ways to get earned income: You work for someone who pays you, or you own (or run) a business or farm.
Earned income does NOT include:
- Interest and dividends
- Retirement income, including Social Security benefits
- Unemployment benefits
- Alimony or child support
- Pay for work while an inmate in a jail or prison
If you file as married filing separately, or if you’re considered a qualifying child of another taxpayer, you don’t qualify for the EIC.
When you file with 1040.com, the EIC will appear on your return if you qualify, based on your interview answers.