For each eligible qualifying child, you may receive the Child Tax Credit, up to $1,000. For married couples with children and single parents and separated or divorcees, there is a list of seven tests that must be passed to be entitled to claim the tax credit for each allowed dependent child.
The IRS website offers an interactive Tax Assistant application to help you discover whether you may qualify for any available Child Tax Credits – Is My Child a Qualifying Child for the Child Tax Credit?
Meanwhile, these are the seven tests, copied from IRS Tax Tip 2017-11, February 8, 2017:
Child Tax Credit Qualifications[i]:
- “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. 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 next step in determining eligibility for qualified Child Tax Credits is to determine whether the income limitations eliminate the taxpayer’s opportunity to receive Child Tax Credits due to their filing status and income.
For some taxpayers, the Additional Child Tax Credit applies; “If a taxpayer qualifies and gets less than the full Child Tax Credit, they could receive a refund, even if they owe not tax.[ii]”
As the IRS code may change from year to year, make sure to contact your tax professional and the IRS website for update tax credit information. The IRS page with the Child Tax Credit Tips contains additional tax schedule, E-file and publication information.
To learn more about tax issues and financial aspects of divorce and family law matters, contact The Barrows Firm in Southlake for additional information.
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[i] IRS Website, Five Things to Know About the Child Tax Credit, IRS Tax Tip 2017-11, February 8, 2017.
[ii] See HNi above.