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Can I get EIC if I didn't pay federal taxes?

I got my W2's yesterday (I work in a public school) and for some reason I didn't pay any federal or state taxes this year! Can I still get Earned Income Credit? I was really counting on that to help us get out of debt.


Asked by Anonymous at 4:34 PM on Feb. 1, 2009 in Money & Work

This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • Federal taxes withheld from your paycheck are calculated by percentage based on 1. the number of exemptions you claim on your W-4 and 2. your gross pay per pay period. If you didn't make enough money or have too many exemptions, there will be no taxes withheld from your pay for federal income taxes. If you happen to work extra hours then the extra pay MAY put you into a category where you would have federal taxes withheld.
    EIC is based on your EARNED income, not your federal taxes withheld. If you earned any money under $41,646 and had 2 qualifying children you would qualify to receive EIC. Go to and you can download a copy of the 1040 instruction booklet and it would have the EIC table in it or you can go to a tax prep website like or and plug in your information to get an idea of what you would get back, including EIC.

    Answer by michiganmom116 at 10:10 PM on Feb. 1, 2009

  • Did you not notice that on one of your pay stubs? Based on your income you may qualify for the EIC however, you will either end up owing or break even as you did not pay any taxes this year.

    Answer by Christine0813 at 4:37 PM on Feb. 1, 2009

  • Yes. You only have to have earned income to get earned income credit. You dont need to have paid in. When I was a waitress I paid close to nothing and one year nothing at all and got EIC.

    Answer by gemgem at 4:40 PM on Feb. 1, 2009

  • Thank you! I don't know how I didn't notice before. I guess I don't pay enough attention! I imagine what I owe will be taken out of my EIC, right?

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:14 PM on Feb. 1, 2009

  • Probably but you don't deserve it. Get a job.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:51 PM on Feb. 1, 2009

  • Anon 651, do you not read? She has a job! Stop being rude to people and grow up!

    Answer by Christine0813 at 7:28 PM on Feb. 1, 2009

  • Hey anon, if you'd like to insult me please feel free to leave your name. You show yourself and I'll do the same! If you would read the question, I work in a public school. That's right, I'm partially responsible for educating your children! Bwahahaha!!!

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:16 PM on Feb. 1, 2009

  • If you didn't pay any federal taxes, I'd be calling the IRS to ask them why, otherwise next year they're going to come after you for them.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:04 PM on Feb. 1, 2009

  • michiganmom116's answer was right on the mark. Now as far as your State return, you'll need to first know if the State that you live has income taxes. In Tenn. we do not. If your state does, you'll have to research or ask a paid preparer.

    Answer by lifeasinoit at 10:23 PM on Feb. 1, 2009

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