Tax Tools

Tests for Qualifying Child

Relationship

A qualifying child is a child who is your

SonBrother
DaughterSister
StepchildHalf brother/sister
Foster childStep brother/sister
A descendantA descendant

Age

A qualifying child is a child who was

Under age 19

at the end of current tax year and younger than you (or your spouse, if filing jointly)

Under age 24

at the end of current tax year a student and younger than you (or your spouse, if filing jointly)

Any age

permanently and totally disabled at any time during the year

Joint Return

A qualifying child is a child

who is not filing a joint return for current tax year (or is filing a joint return for current tax year only to claim a refund of income tax withheld or estimated tax paid).

Residency

A qualifying child is a child

who lived with you in the United States for more than half of the current tax year.

You can't claim the EIC for a child who didn't live with you for more than half of the year, even if you paid most of the child's living expenses. The IRS may ask you for documents to show you lived with each qualifying child. Documents you might want to keep for this purpose include school and child care records and other records that show your child's address.

If the child didn't live with you for more than half of the year because of a temporary absence, birth, death, or kidnapping, see Temporary absences, Birth or death of child, or Kidnapped child in this chapter.

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