Claiming Child Tax Credit

You think you are eligible for child tax credit? Here's the information you are looking for claiming child tax credit.

The Qualifying Child

Do you have an eligible child?

Here are some pointers to check eligibility.

The child:

  • must be claimed as your dependent on your federal tax return.

  • must live with you for over a half a year unless you are the non-custodial parent and the child's other parent agrees that you can claim the child as a dependent.

  • must be under the age of 17 the last day of the year

  • must be a US citizen or resident (meaning if the child is a citizen it is not a problem if they live abroad, but if not they must be a US resident.)

  • is considered your child in these following scenarios: your son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister or a descendant of any of these individuals and related to you either by blood or adoption.

  • must not provide their own support

Claiming child tax credit on your tax return

Once you determine which child is eligible for this credit you put a check on column 4 near the name of the child on your form 1040 or form 1040A line 6c.

Now you fill out the special child tax credit worksheet provided by the IRS that shows you exactly how to calculate the actual amount that you can get when claiming child tax credit.

Parts of this worksheet includes calculating the phaseout reduction if your income is above a certain limit and deducting the amounts of other tax credits that you are getting.

Once you complete this worksheet you simply put the amount that you calculated into the correct line on your form 1040 or 1040A.

You will then deduct the child tax credit amount (and all other tax credits that you calculated) from your total tax amount. This way your tax bill will be lowered dollar-for-dollar making it a very worthwhile tax credit.

In some cases your tax will be less than the amount you can claim as child tax credit. You can now get the leftover credit by claiming the additional child tax credit.

The additional child tax credit is a refundable credit which means that you can get back more money than you even paid in taxes.

Updated November 16, 2017

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