For 2012, the maximum credit is as follows:
$5,891 with three or more qualifying children
$5,236 with two qualifying children
$3,169 with one qualifying child
$475 with no qualifying children
The nice thing about the EITC is that it’s refundable, which means that if your tax liability is only $30 and the credit you are allowed is $5,030, you... may receive a refund check for $5,000.
According to the IRS, in order to qualify for the credit, you must meet the following requirements:
Have a valid Social Security number
Have earned income from employment, self-employment, farming, some disability plans, or another source
Dividend, interest and capital gain income or other income from investments does not qualify as earned income and must be less than $3,200 for the year
Don’t use the married, filing separate filing status
Be a U.S. citizen or resident alien all year or a nonresident alien married to a U.S. citizen or resident alien and choose to file a joint return and be treated as a resident alien
Cannot be the qualifying child of another person
Cannot file Form 2555 or 2555-EZ (related to foreign earned income)
Your Adjusted Gross Income and earned income must meet the limits shown on the Income Limits, Maximum Credit Amounts and Tax Law Updates Page.
To qualify, your earned income and adjusted gross income for the 2012 year must be less than $45,060 ($50,270 married filing jointly) with three or more qualifying children, $41,952 ($47,162 married filing jointly), with two qualifying children, $36,920 ($42,130 married filing jointly) with one qualifying child, $13,980 ($19,190 married filing jointly) with no qualifying children.