THE CHILD TAX CREDIT – ADVANCE TAX RELIEF

The Child Tax Credit is a tax credit that may save taxpayers up to $1,000 for each eligible qualifying child. Taxpayers should make sure they qualify before they claim it.

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Qualifications. For the Child Tax Credit, a qualifying child must pass several tests:

1) Age. The child must have been under age 17 on Dec. 31, 2016.

Relationship. The child must be the taxpayer’s 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 grandchildren, nieces or nephews. Taxpayers would always treat an adopted child as their own child. An adopted child includes a child lawfully placed with them 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 a taxpayer claims on their 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 the taxpayer for more than half of 2016.

The IRS Interactive Tax Assistant tool – Is My Child a Qualifying Child for the Child Tax Credit? – helps taxpayers
determine if a child is a qualifying child for the Child Tax Credit.

2) Limitations. The Child Tax Credit is subject to income limitations. The limits may reduce or eliminate a taxpayer’s credit depending on their filing status and income.

3) Additional Child Tax Credit. If a taxpayer qualifies and gets less than the full Child Tax Credit, they could receive a refund, even if they owe no tax, with the Additional Child Tax Credit.

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