You must file a tax return to determine your eligibility to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit. Many who are owed it never receive this money and miss out because they owe no tax so do not file a tax return. Here are some special situations to be aware of:
Members of the Military
Military Personnel Stationed Outside the United States are considered to live in the United States for tax purposes. If you are a member of the military, you do not have to report nontaxable pay as earned income for the EITC. However, you may choose to report it, which may increase your total refund. Special EITC Rules for Military.
You do not have to report the non-taxable pay you receive as a member of the Armed Forces as earned income for EITC. But, you and your spouse can each choose to have your nontaxable combat pay included in your earned income for EITC. Find examples in Publication 596 under Nontaxable Combat Pay; Find the areas considered Combat Zones here
Members of the Clergy
There are different tax situations for members of the clergy depending on different situations. If you are a minister or member of a religious order, you may have net earnings from self-employment.
Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program offers free tax help for all taxpayers, particularly those who are 60 years of age and older, specializing in questions about pensions and retirement-related issues unique to seniors. Learn about a tax credit for the elderly here. Use this tool to see if you qualify.