Rules for claiming the Child Tax Credit

Rules for claiming the Child Tax Credit

SUMMARY

This article provides information on the Child Tax Credit.

MORE INFORMATION

With the Child Tax Credit, the taxpayer may be able to reduce the federal income tax they owe by up to $1,000 for each qualifying child under the age of 17.

A qualifying child for this credit is someone who meets the following criteria:
  • Age – The child must have been under age 17 at the end of the tax year
  • Relationship – The child must be a son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant of any of these
  • Support – The child must not have provided more than half of their own support
  • Dependent – The child must be claimed as a dependent on the federal tax return
  • Citizenship – The child must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or U.S. resident alien
  • Residence – The child must have lived with the taxpayer for more than half of the tax year
The credit is limited if the taxpayer’s modified adjusted gross income is above a certain amount. The amount at which this phase-out begins varies depending on their filing status:
  • Married Filing Jointly - $110,000
  • All others - $75,000
  • Married Filing Separately - $55,000
If the amount of the Child Tax Credit is greater than the amount the income tax that the taxpayer’s owes, they may be able to claim some or all of the difference as an “Additional” Child Tax Credit. The Additional Child Tax Credit may give the taxpayer a refund even if they do not owe any tax. The total amount of Child Tax Credit and any Additional Child Tax Credit cannot exceed the maximum of $1,000 for each qualifying child. The Additional Child Tax Credit is available on up to three qualifying children and requires the taxpayer to have earned income.

For more information, view the following reference materials:


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