When you file Schedule EIC, you are claiming one or more qualifying children (up to three different children). A qualifying child meets the following requirements:
Lives with you for over half the year
Is under the age of 19 at the end of the year (24 if considered a full-time student)
Does not file a joint return
Is either your son, daughter, sibling, step-sibling, or legal foster child
A child can only be claimed by one taxpayer. If a child is eligible to be claimed by more than one person, the IRS must employ a tie-breaker rule.
The EITC amount increases with the addition of each qualifying child – but maxes at a total of three. The earned income limit that taxpayers can make in 2017 is up to $53,930. The credit can result in up to $6,318 for three qualifying children (the credit decreases with less children).