DEFINITION of 'Earned Income Credit - EIC'
A tax credit in the United States which benefits certain taxpayers who have low incomes from work in a particular tax year. The earned income credit (EIC) reduces the amount of tax owed on a dollar-for-dollar basis, and may result in a refund to the taxpayer if the amount of the credit is greater than the amount of tax owed.
BREAKING DOWN 'Earned Income Credit - EIC'
In order to qualify for the EIC, taxpayers must have earned income from work which is less than certain income limits and also meet a series of eligibility requirements. The eligibility requirements include: the taxpayer must have a qualifying child, or if the taxpayer does not have a qualifying child, the taxpayer must be between the ages of 25 and 65, live in the U.S. for more than half of the year and not qualify as a dependent of another person.