Many of the questions we receive revolve around the Child Tax Credit, as it is one of the most popular and common tax credits. In addition, it can add to quite a sizable reduction in tax liability, especially for families with more children.
Mark writes to us: “Hi Mike, first time writing in but love all the advice as well as the technical knowledge you provide here.
I have three kids and this year I’m planning on handling my own taxes as I am unhappy with my tax preparer. I was hoping you could go over the rules for the Child Tax Credit, as I have already determined they are my dependents using the tests you have shown previously.”
That’s a great question, Mark, and something we’ve been meaning to tackle.
First, the income requirements for the Child Tax Credit for a single person is $200,000 gross income (MAGI for those tax professionals out there) or under ($400,000 for married filing jointly).
The credit phases out $50 for every $1,000 of gross income over these limits.
Also notable, your income must be over $2,500 to claim the Child Tax Credit.
If you meet the income requirements, you’re well on your way to receiving the Child Tax Credit. However you must also meet the following tests for each child:
- The child must be a US citizen, national, or resident alien
- The child must have lived with you for over half of the tax year
- The child must have been under age 17 at the end of the tax year
- The child must not have filed a joint tax return for the tax year (unless they didn’t have a filing requirement and file anyway)
- The child must not have provided over half of his or her own support for the tax year
- The child must be claimed on your tax return
- The child must be related to you in one of the following ways: your son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, sibling, step-sibling, half-sibling, or a descendant of any of the above
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This article should not be considered tax or legal advice. Always consult a professional for your specific situation.