Earned Income Credit

Today TaxMama hears from James in MO, who asks. “Can I get an Earned Income Credit if I file married filing separately?”

Dear James

Never. That is one of the very specific prohibitions.

If you’re married, you must file a joint return to qualify.

Read IRS Publication 596 Earned Income Credit (EIC).


It will explain all the rules.

For those who don’t know, the Earned Income Credit is a negative tax. It gives money back to low-income people who haven’t paid anything. For a household with two children, at the right income level, the refunds could be well over $4,000.

Be very careful when it comes to filing for the EIC. Since it was a major target of abuse when electronic filing first became possible, all tax returns requesting an EIC are automatically scanned by IRS’s Criminal Investigation Division before the refunds are issued. And once the refunds are issued, if IRS learns that you’ve file a fraudulent EIC return, you will lose the right to get this special tax refund for 10 years.

And remember, you’ll find answers to lots of questions, about earned income credits, and other tax information, free. Where? At TaxMama.com

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