Download the PDF version of this comparison chart here.

EITC CTC
Income
Children Single Married EITC up to: Must earn more than $3,000
Credit up to $1,000 per child
Investment income — no limits
None $14,880 $20,430 $506
1 $39,296 $44,846 $3,373
2 $44,648 $50,198 $5,752
3 or more $47,955 $53,505 $6,269
Sources of income
Wages, salary, tips, employer-based disability, self-employment earnings, military combat pay, union strike benefits
Taxpayer ID Number
Valid social security number that permits work in the U.S. for tax filer, spouse, and children Valid social security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) for tax filer, spouse, and children
Filing Status
Cannot be married filing separately Any
Age Requirement
Must be between 25 and 64 years of age (workers without children) Any
Child Qualifications (workers with children)
Relationship
  • Son, daughter, grandchild, stepchild or adopted child
  • Younger sibling, step-sibling, half-sibling, or their descendent
  • Foster child placed with the worker by a government agency
Residency
Must live with the worker in the U.S. for more than half the year Must live with the worker in the U.S. for more than half the year. Exception: A non-custodial parent who is permitted by a divorce or separation agreement to claim the child as a dependent.
Age of Child
Under 19, under 24 if a full-time student, or any age if totally and permanently disabled Under 17
Dependency
Not required (except for a claim by a married parent who separated from his or her spouse during the first half of the year) Must be able to claim child as a dependent and claim the exemption on the return
Tax Forms
Schedule EIC + Form 1040 or 1040A (workers with children)
Form 1040 or Form 1040 EZ (workers without children)
Schedule 8812 “Additional Child Tax Credit”

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