Eligible taxpayers may claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) when filing tax returns. If you did not claim this credit for tax years 2015, 2016, or 2017, you can still file amended tax returns. You have 3 years from the due date of the original return or 2 years from the tax payment date, whichever is later, to file Form 1040X with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

You cannot claim EITC if you are married but filing separately.

EITC also has special rules for:

  • Members of the military
  • Members of the clergy 
  • Taxpayers with certain types of disability income
  • Children with certain disabilities

You can get more information about EITC rules and free assistance with filing an amended tax return at irs.gov. You must submit your amended tax return to the IRS. Do not send it to the Department of Finance.

Tax ID

Only taxpayers with a Social Security Number valid for employment can claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Some taxpayers who received revised tax form letters have Tax ID Numbers but not Social Security Numbers. These people are not eligible for the EITC.

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a refundable credit that returns Federal, State, and City tax dollars to qualifying families and individuals. 

General Qualifications

To qualify for the 2018 EITC, you must:

  • Have earned income in 2018 through full- or part-time work or self-employment.
  • Be legally authorized to work in the United States.
  • Have a valid Social Security number.

If you earned income in 2018 from investments, such as rental property or stocks, the amount must be less than $3,500 to qualify for the EITC.

Without Children

If you have no children, you must be between the ages of 25 and 64. 

If you are:

  • Single, you must earn less than $15,270.
  • Married, you must file jointly and earn less than $20,950.

With Children

If you have children and are: 

  • Single, you must earn less than $49,194.
  • Married, you must file jointly and earn less than $54,884.

Noncustodial Parents

If you are a noncustodial parent (NCP) and do not live with your child, you may be eligible for the NCP/EITC on your 2018 New York State income tax return if:

  • You earned less than $40,320.
  • Your child support payments were up-to-date.

Applicants for the Earned Income Tax Credit for tax year 2017 must meet the following requirements:

Without Dependent Children

To qualify for the EITC without a qualifying child, you:

  • Must have lived in the U.S. for more than half of 2017
  • Must be at least age 25, but under age 65 at the end of 2017
  • Cannot qualify as the dependent of another person

In addition, if you are:

  • Single, head of household, or qualifying widow or widower, you must earn less than $15,010
  • Married filing jointly, you must earn less than $20,600

With 1 Dependent Child
                
If you are:

  • Single, head of household, or qualifying widow or widower, you must earn less than $39,617
  • Married filing jointly, you must earn less than $45,207

With 2 Dependent Children

If you are:

  • Single, head of household, or qualifying widow or widower, you must earn less than $45,007
  • Married filing jointly, you must earn less than $50,597

With 3 or More Dependent Children

If you are:

  • Single, head of household, or qualifying widow or widower, you must earn less than $48,340
  • Married filing jointly, you must earn less than $53,930

Your investment income must also be $3,450 or less for the year.

If you qualify, the maximum amount of credit for Tax Year 2017 is:

  • $510 with no qualifying children
  • $3,400 with 1 qualifying child
  • $5,616 with 2 qualifying children
  • $6,318 with 3 or more qualifying children

Applicants for the Earned Income Tax Credit for tax year 2016 must meet the following requirements:

Without Dependent Children

To qualify for the EITC without a qualifying child, you:

  • Must have lived in the U.S. for more than half of 2016
  • Must be at least age 25, but under age 65 at the end of 2016
  • Cannot qualify as the dependent of another person

In addition, if you are:

  • Single, head of household, or qualifying widow or widower, you must earn less than $14,880
  • Married filing jointly, you must earn less than $20,430

With 1 Dependent Child

If you are:

  • Single, head of household, or qualifying widow or widower, you must earn less than $39,296
  • Married filing jointly, you must earn less than $44,846

With 2 Dependent Children

If you are:

  • Single, head of household, or qualifying widow or widower, you must earn less than $44,648
  • Married filing jointly, you must earn less than $50,198

With 3 or More Dependent Children

If you are:

  • Single, head of household, or qualifying widow or widower, you must earn less than $47,955
  • Married filing jointly, you must earn less than $53,505

Your investment income must also be $3,400 or less for the year.

If you qualify, the maximum amount of credit for Tax Year 2016 is:

  • $506 with no qualifying children;
  • $3,373 with 1 qualifying child;
  • $5,572 with 2 qualifying children;
  • $6,269 with 3 or more qualifying children.

Applicants for the Earned Income Tax Credit for tax year 2015 must meet the following requirements:

Without Dependent Children

To qualify for the EITC without a qualifying child, you:

  • Must have lived in the U.S. for more than half of 2015
  • Must be at least age 25, but under age 65 at the end of 2015
  • Cannot qualify as the dependent of another person

In addition, if you are:

  • Single, head of household, or qualifying widow or widower, you must earn less than $14,820
  • Married filing jointly, you must earn less than $20,330

With 1 Dependent Child
                
If you are:

  • Single, head of household, or qualifying widow or widower, you must earn less than $39,131
  • Married filing jointly, you must earn less than $44,651

With 2 Dependent Children

If you are:

  • Single, head of household, or qualifying widow or widower, you must earn less than $44,454
  • Married filing jointly, you must earn less than $49,974

With 3 or More Dependent Children

If you are:

  • Single, head of household, or qualifying widow or widower, you must earn less than $47,747
  • Married filing jointly, you must earn less than $53,267

Your investment income must also be $3,400 or less for the year.

If you qualify, the maximum amount of credit for Tax Year 2015 is:

  • $503 with no qualifying children;
  • $3,359 with 1 qualifying child;
  • $5,548 with 2 qualifying children;
  • $6,242 with 3 or more qualifying children.

You can no longer file an amended return for the 2014 tax year. The deadline to file was April 17, 2018. 

You can't file an amended return to claim the EITC for tax years before 2015 unless you can prove you were financially disabled as defined by the IRS. If you think you're eligible, you should get the necessary documentation and submit it, along with an original Form 1040X, directly to the IRS. The Department of Finance can't assist you with filings before 2015.