What is the Child Tax Credit?

Posted by Kristen on January 2, 2013

What is the Child Tax Credit?

The Child Tax Credit is a tax credit you can claim for each child depending on your income.

You may be able to claim up to $1,000 per qualifying child under 17 years old.

This tax credit can be claimed in addition to credit for child dependent care expenses.

When and where is the Child Tax Credit used?

To qualify for the Child Tax Credit:

  • A child must have been under 17 at the end of the year.
  • The child must be a dependent on your federal tax return.
  • The child must be your child, stepchild, foster child, sibling, step-sibling, grandchild, or niece or nephew that is treated as your own child. An adopted child needs to be legally adopted.
  • The child you are claiming must not provide more than half of their own support.
  • The child must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or U.S. resident alien. They must have lived with you for more than half of the year.

Child Tax Credit Income Limits

The tax credit is reduced based on your income for the year. The credit depends on your filing status and starts to reduce when your income is $55,000 for married couples filing separately, $110,000 for married couples filing jointly, and $75,000 for single, head of household and qualifying windows or widowers.

The child tax credit is reduced by $50 for each $1,000 of income above the above limitations.

Additional Child Tax Credit

You may be able to claim the Additional Child Tax Credit if the amount of your Child Tax Credit is more than the amount of the income tax you owe. For More information see the IRS publication on Child Tax Credit.

If you claim the additional child tax credit, your entire tax refund will be delayed until February 15. For more information, see IRS Will Delay Tax Refunds if You Claim These Tax Credits.

More Tax Topics for Parents

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Comments to What is the Child Tax Credit?

  1. Is the child tax credit reduced when you have more than one child ?


  2. I still don’t know what the credit is; does it mean $1000 of your income is not taxed or does it mean you get $1000 off your tax bill?


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