My tax software seems to allow me to fill out Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) but I wanted to make sure that I really qualify.

For 2023, I have earned income $52,000 and $5500 in a stock sale and $2-3000 in div. From this IRS page, I would think that it's a yes. But the software I am using calculates a credit and then tells me that if I request this, since I have foreign income and am requesting EITC, I need to print and mail the 1040 and can not e-file. Does this mean there is an issue or something wrong with what I am doing? Is this legit?

  • 3
    Didn’t you get audited over the EITC a couple years ago? Maybe consider paying a professional instead of trying to wing it with free advice from strangers in this internet.
    – nobody
    Feb 4 at 13:32

2 Answers 2


(Dave Thompson's answer is better -- Keshlam)

Some forms don't support electronic submission, and do require that you file by mail. That doesn't necessarily mean you are doing something wrong.

But I don't know if you are doing it right either. Don't panic, but do try to get an authoritative answer. Or try it and risk being audited; if you aren't actually trying to cheat, an audit is annoying but mostly harmless; you might just owe more tax and some late payment fees on that.

You might get better advice in the expats stack.

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    Technically if IRS decides an improper EIC claim (also *CTC/ODC and AOTC) is 'reckless or intentional' they can ban you from claiming it for 2 years, and if fraudulent for 10 years. And they frequently do so, causing frequent complaints from the Taxpayer Advocate. Of course if you aren't eligible in the first place, being banned from claiming is not really a loss. Feb 7 at 8:58

Foreign income is not by itself disqualifying, but excluding foreign earned income on form 2555 is; see the 5th bullet on the page you link. If you're not using 2555, I'm not sure what the efiling problem is -- maybe your income is from foreign employer(s) who don't (and aren't required to) file and furnish W-2?

For no-child EIC you must live in the US more than half the year, and for with-child EIC -- the only kind you can qualify for with about $61k AGI, and only with >=3 children and a spouse filing jointly -- the children must live with you in the US more than half the year.

So NO.

  • A day or two later I figured this out when I actually re-read the instructions. Many thanks. I'd mark this as the correct answer but I do not feel right to pull it away from the other answer which was the best answer at the time and I like to give credit to those who answer. A virtual beer to you.
    – Mr Monee
    Feb 7 at 12:55
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    Remember that best-answer is for the benefit of future readers. It isn't unreasonable to move it if a better answer comes in later.
    – keshlam
    Feb 7 at 14:39
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    Dave, can you clarify which question you are answering “No” to? It is unclear whether you are saying, “No, there is nothing wrong with this,” or “No, this is not legit.”
    – Ben Miller
    Feb 7 at 14:50

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