In order to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) as a married couple, you generally are required to file a joint return. Therefore, you can’t use the “married, filing separately” status if you want to claim the EITC.
In some cases, your spouse may have lived separately from you for the final six months of the year, which can qualify you to use the Head of Household filing status. In this situation, you may be eligible to claim the EITC. It’s important that your spouse was not occupying your home at any point during the last six months of the tax year.
For more information on how to qualify for Head of Household filing status, contact your tax preparer or financial assistant, who can also point you in the right direction for determining your EITC eligibility.