For purposes of the earned income credit, earned income includes the following:
Wages, salaries, tips, and other taxable employee pay.
Net earnings from self-employment.
Gross income received as a statutory employee.
Nontaxable combat pay if you elect to include it in earned income. See Nontaxable combat pay election, later.
For purposes of the earned income credit, earned income does not include:
Basic pay or special, bonus, or other incentive pay that is subject to the combat zone exclusion (unless you make the nontaxable combat pay election, described later),
Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH),
Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS),
Any other nontaxable employee compensation,
Interest and dividends,
Social security and railroad retirement payments,
Certain workfare payments,
Pensions or annuities,
Veterans' benefits (including VA rehabilitation payments),
Unemployment compensation, or
Alimony and child support.
Nontaxable combat pay election. You can elect to include your nontaxable combat pay in earned income for the earned income credit. If you make the election, you must include in earned income all nontaxable combat pay you received. If you are filing a joint return and both you and your spouse received nontaxable combat pay, you can each make your own election. The amount of your nontaxable combat pay should be shown on your Form W-2 in box 12 with code Q. Electing to include nontaxable combat pay in earned income may increase or decrease your EIC.