Just trying to be useful...
2+ Year Member
Oct 28, 2017
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  1. Podiatry Student
Hello all,

Last year I was fortunate to start medical school and have my wife and child take this journey with me. It has been tough but we are making it so far. Last year because both my wife and I were working prior to me starting school (in 2018) we filed taxes. We were also able to claim our child (baby) for the first time and this made a noticeable positive impact on our tax return even though we didn't work the full year. Now tax season is about to be upon us and I realized neither of us have worked this 2019 year, and now I'm wondering if we would be able to still file taxes (even though we don't have any taxable income for this year) and claim our child to receive a tax return/credit for him/her. I tried looking this up, but the answers are conflicting and the specific scenario (full time student and homemaker living on loans) is not out there. Has anyone gone through this situation before or similar? Were you able to still file taxes and receive a tax return/credit for children/dependents?

Also, I should mention there may still be an opportunity available for me to TA (been asked multiple times), hence earn a little income if needed to file a tax return.

Thank you so much in advance for any help answering this question.


You can’t get a tax return if there’s no withheld income to return to you. You can’t get an earned income tax credit unless you earn income. I believe the minimum threshold is $2.

Edit: EITC threshold $2. Child Tax Credit threshold $2,500 income per IRS site.
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