Tuesday Tax Tip: Child Tax Credit

The Child Tax Credit is an important tax credit that may save you up to $1,000 for each eligible qualifying child. Be sure you qualify before you claim it. Here are five useful facts from the IRS on the Child Tax Credit:

  1. Qualifications. For the Child Tax Credit, a qualifying child must pass several tests:
    • Age. The child must have been under age 17 at the end of 2015.
    • Relationship. The child must be your son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, half brother, or half sister. The child may be a descendant of any of these individuals. A qualifying child could also include your grandchild, niece or nephew. You would always treat an adopted child as your own child. An adopted child includes a child lawfully placed with you for legal adoption.
    • Support. The child must have not provided more than half of their own support for the year.
    • Dependent. The child must be a dependent that you claim on your federal tax return.
    • Joint return. The child cannot file a joint return for the year, unless the only reason they are filing is to claim a refund.
    • Citizenship. The child must be a U.S. citizen, a U.S. national or a U.S. resident alien.
    • Residence. In most cases, the child must have lived with you for more than half of 2015.
  2. Limitations. The Child Tax Credit is subject to income limitations. The limits may reduce or eliminate your credit depending on your filing status and income.
  3. Additional Child Tax Credit. If you qualify and get less than the full Child Tax Credit, you could receive a refund even if you owe no tax with the Additional Child Tax Credit.
  4. Schedule 8812. If you qualify to claim the Child Tax Credit, make sure to check if you must complete and attach Schedule 8812, Child Tax Credit, with your tax return. For example, if you claim a credit for a child with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, you must complete Part I of Schedule 8812. If you qualify to claim the Additional Child Tax Credit, you must complete and attach Schedule 8812. You can visit IRS.gov to view, download or print IRS tax forms anytime.
  5. IRS E-file. The easiest way to claim the Child Tax Credit is with IRS E-file. This system is safe, accurate and easy to use. You can also use IRS Free File to prepare and e-file your taxes for free. Go to IRS.gov/filing to learn more.

IRS Tax Tip 2016-27, February 25, 2016

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