Getting Credit

Today TaxMama hears from Maxine in Florida, who has two quick questions. “Can someone living on Supplemental Security Income receive an Earned Income Credit if she has one dependent? Can someone who is retired received the existing homebuyer tax credit $6,500?”

Dear Maxine,

In order to received the EIC, you must be supporting that one dependent. However, since the SSI is not earned income, it doesn’t qualify for the ‘Earned Income’ Credit. The credit is based on the amount of wages or self-employment income a person has. (Even rental income, since it is not considered ‘earned’,
does not qualify.)

However, there is no income requirement for the housing credits. All you have to do is qualify for the conditions. The existing homeowner credit requires that you have owned and lived in a principal residence for 5 years out of the last 8 years. And that your income be below $125,000 if you’re single. You sound as if you meet those requirements, right? Go for it!

And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about IRS credits and other tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At

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