Form 8812
Additional Child Tax Credit

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Over the past few years you might have noticed a new form in your tax return called Form 8812 - Additional Child Tax Credit.

What is form 8812? And what is the meaning of this oddly named credit?

Why the credit is called Additional Child I'm not sure, but possibly it is because originally the credit was for families with three or more children.

But most likely it is because it is used to refund the leftover or unused part of the child tax credit . So on form 8812 you will request an additional amount that was left over from the child tax credit.

Since 2012, Form 8812 was changed Schedule 8812 - Child Tax Credit.

A new Part one has been added (and changing the old Part one to Part two etc.) for qualifying children with ITINs. This is also necessary for filing Child Tax Credit not only Additional Child Tax Credit.

Filers who have qualifying children with ITINs need to file Schedule 8812 and attach it to their tax return even if they do not file for additional child tax credit.

Before you can fill out this form you need to figure your child tax credit and see how much you cannot use for the child tax credit.

There are two ways to figure out the additional credit. You use the one that is more beneficial to you.

  1. You get 15% of the part of your adjusted gross income that is over $3,000- but not more than the unused portion of your child tax credit

  2. If you have three or more qualifying children and the first method yields an amount that is less than the balance of your child tax credit you can try this method. Take the amount of your social security taxes (only half if you are self-employed) and subtract your earned income credit from it. See if this amount is larger than the one from method 1.

I wonder if anybody ends up using the second method since the first method asks to multiply most of the income with 15% and the social security tax is only 7.5%. And even then the earned income credit is deducted from it.

The only scenario that it can work is with somebody earning very little (less than $6000-) but not eligible for earned income credit (maybe a noncustodial parent who is claiming three or more children; or a US citizen that does not live in the US and has three or more children).

More information:

Schedule 8812

Publication 972

Updated November 16 2017

› Schedule 8812

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