What is the Child Tax Credit?

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What is the Child Tax Credit?

We've also got info on the similar Credit for Other Dependents.

If you have kids, you might qualify for the Child Tax Credit, which can reduce your tax bill by up to $2,000 per qualifying child. The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (aka "tax reform") doubled the per-child credit amount from $1,000 in 2017 and prior tax years.

To qualify for the Child Tax Credit, your child must fit all of these requirements:

  • Be under age 17 at the end of the tax year
  • Is your son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, adopted child, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, half-brother, half-sister, or a descendant of any of them (for example, a grandchild, niece, or nephew)
  • Has their own Social Security Number
  • Lived with you for more than half the year
  • Didn't support themself (didn't pay more than half their own expenses)
  • Is a US citizen, US national, or US resident alien
    • Residents of Canada or Mexico wouldn't qualify

Up to $1,400 of the credit is refundable and is phased-in based on your earned income.  In most cases, you must have $2,500 or more of earned income to be eligible for any portion of the refundable Child Tax Credit.

The $2,000 per-child credit is reduced once your AGI reaches $200,000 (or $400,000 if you're filing jointly with your spouse).

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