Earned Income Credit for 2021

Helping my parents with their tax return. They had no earned income in 2021 – only Social Security, dividend income and IRA withdrawals. TaxAct software says they qualify for the EIC on their 2021 return even though they didn’t have earned income in 2021. I guess they qualify because they elected to use their 2019 earned income in calculating their 2021 EIC (some COVID-related rule).

Can anyone confirm this? I’ve searched the IRS website and I don’t see anything.


If they had earned income in 2019, they can qualify for EITC in 2021 due to pandemic-related changes to the tax code.