If you earn income and make less than $48,340 in 2017 ($53,930 if filing jointly), you may qualify for the earned income credit. This credit is refundable – meaning you may get more money in your refund than you had withheld from your pay. In fact, you may get money back even if you didn't have any income tax withheld from your pay.
The earned income credit can be substantial – up to $6,269.
The income limitations are highest for taxpayers with three or more children. To receive this credit, both your earned income and adjusted gross income must be less than:
To qualify for the earned income credit, you must have a valid Social Security Number (SSN). If your card or your spouse's card (if filing jointly) says Not valid for employment and you received a SSN so you could get a federally funded benefit, you cannot claim the credit.
You must not use the Married Filing Separately filing status. You must be a U.S. citizen or resident all year, unless you file jointly, one spouse is a U.S. citizen or resident alien, and you choose to treat the nonresident spouse as a U.S. resident. You cannot claim the earned income credit if you deduct or exclude foreign income or housing on Form 2555, or if you have investment income of more than $3,450. In addition, you cannot be the qualifying child of another person.
TaxAct calculates your earned income credit based on your wages and other earned income, your adjusted gross income, and the number of qualified children you have living with you.
A common mistake is to forgo claiming a qualifying child for the earned income credit because you have agreed to let the noncustodial parent claim the dependency exemption for that child. The dependency exemption and a qualifying child for the earned income credit are two separate issues. Only the parent with whom the child lives the longest can claim a child for the earned income credit. If the time is equal, the parent with the higher adjusted gross income takes the credit.
You may still qualify for the earned income credit if you do not have a qualifying child. You must be at least age 25, but under age 65. (If you're married, only one of you must meet the age test.) You cannot be the dependent of another person, and you must live in the U.S. more than half the year.
If you may qualify for the credit, TaxAct asks a few questions in the step-by-step interview and does all the calculations for you. If you have a qualifying child, TaxAct calculates the credit on Schedule EIC, Form 1040.
September 5 — Everyone
Federal Holiday (Labor Day) Details
September 10 — Employees who work for tips
If you received $20 or more in tips during August, report them to your employer Details
September 15 — Individuals
Make a payment of your 2018 estimated tax if you are not paying your income tax for the year through withholding (or will not pay in enough tax that way). Use Form 1040-ES. This is the third installment Details
September 15 — S Corporations
File a 2017 calendar year income tax return (Form 1120S) and pay any tax due. This due date applies only if you timely requested an automatic 6-month extension Details
September 15 — Partnerships
File a 2017 calendar year return (Form 1065). This due date applies only if you were given an additional 5-month extension Details
September 15 — Corporations
Deposit the third installment of estimated income tax for 2017 Details
September 15 — Social security, Medicare, and withheld income tax
If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in August.