The Child Tax Credit Explained

The is a popular credit among parent taxpayers. If you have children, you may be eligible to claim $1,000 per child on your tax return.

In order to be claimed, your children must meet the following criteria:

  • They must be less than 17 years old
  • Have a Social Security number assigned prior to the date your tax return is due for the year
  • Must be a biological offspring, an adopted child, a stepchild, or a foster child legally placed with you by a government agency.
  • They must not provide more than half of their own support financially
  • They must be a U.S. citizen
  • They have to have lived with you for at least half the year.

You’ll need to claim the child as your dependent, and the credit is subject to reduction based on your income. Like the Earned Income Credit, you can’t make too much money if you wish to receive the full $1,000 per child. For the 2017 tax year, the income limits are:

  • Single and Head of Household: $75,000
  • Married, filing Jointly: $110,000
  • Married, filing separately: $55,000

You’ll need to deduct $50 from the credit for every $1,000 you earn over the above limits.

The Child Tax Credit is non-refundable. However, if you have at least $3,000 in earned income, you may be eligible to claim the Additional Child Tax Credit. This credit can return some of your hard—earned money, as much as 15% of your taxable earned income greater than $3,000 in 2017. Should you claim the Additional Child Tax Credit, it’s possible that you can have some of your original Child Tax Credit returned to you once your tax debt is fulfilled.