Self-employed still counts

Many filers — especially self-employed individuals — fail to take advantage of credits because they think they are ineligible, Barajas said.

“I have had a lot of people who I have seen need to amend their returns, who were self-employed, who missed out because they didn’t think they were eligible,” said Barajas. “I don’t think they ever think that they qualify for it, but they do.”

The IRS considers all income that is earned eligible for the credit. That includes wages, salaries, tips and other taxable employee pay, as well as union strike benefits and long-term disability benefits received prior to minimum retirement age. It also covers net earnings from self-employment if you own or operate a business, and gross income received as a statutory employee — an independent contractor under common law rules.