Are you talking about the stimulus credit or the CTC on your return ...
The child tax credit is on different lines, on the 2019 form 1040, than it was on the 2018 form. See item #4 below.
There are 6 possible reasons; you aren’t getting the Child Tax credit (CTC). It’s usually #4:
- You’ve entered something wrong. In the personal Info section, for the dependent, you must select answers that indicate that he/she is your dependent child. If the child was born during the year, say he/she lived with you all year (note: TurboTax changed how this section is done two years ago, you may need to go thru the interview again or even delete your dependent and start over). If the child was born in 2018, you have to answer that he lived with you all year. The CTC is not an automatic $2000, per child. It is income dependent. If you haven't entered your income yet, the CTC will not show.
- Your child may be too old (over 16). You can still claim your child. What you can't claim is the Child tax credit. This comes as a big surprise to many parents the year their child turns 17. A child over age 16 no longer qualifies for the Child Tax credit (CTC). Although a child can still be a student dependent through age 23, and a qualifying child for EIC, the Child Tax Credit expires the year they turn 17 and you no longer get the $2000 CTC.
- Your income is too high. The Child Tax Credit (CTC) is phased out at higher incomes starting at $400,000 for joint filers ($200K single). You lose $50 for each $1000 (rounding up) your income is over that threshold.
- Your income is too low. The child tax credit (CTC) is also limited to your tax liability. The CTC is a non-refundable credit and can only reduce your income tax to 0, It can not help you beyond eliminating your tax liability. But, if you have more than $2500 of earned income, some or all of it is usually given back to you thru the "Additional Child tax credit". That is, part of the CTC may be on line 18b of form 1040 (2019 version) instead of line 13a (lines 17 and 12 in 2018). The ACTC is calculated on form 8812 and is basically 15% of your earned income over $2500. The ACTC is a maximum of $1400 per child (not $2000).
- You are the custodial parent and the non-custodial parent is claiming the dependent this year. The CTC goes with the dependency, even though the custodial parent still gets the Earned Income Credit, Dependent care credit and Head of Household.
6. Another possibility is that part of your tax due is not regular income tax, but is self-employment, early distribution penalty or another type of additional tax, for which the CTC cannot be used.
And look at your child-related credits on your Form 1040's
Look at your 2018 tax return to see the child-related /dependent credits you received:
Child tax credit line 12a
Additional Child Tax Credit line 17b (schedule 8812)
Credit for Other Dependents line 12a
Earned Income Credit (EIC) line 17a
Child and Dependent Care Credit line 12 (comes from Schedule 3 Form 2441)
Look at your 2019 Form 1040 to see the child-child-related credits you received
Child Tax Credit line 13a
Credit for Other Dependents line 13a
Earned Income Credit line 18a
Additional Child Tax Credit line 18b
Child and Dependent Care Credit line 18d
I notice you say "a dependent age 14" and not "my child age 14".
To get the child tax credit (CTC)(max $2000), instead of the "credit for other dependents" (max $500), the child must be closely related to you. A common example, you cannot get the CTC when you claim your domestic partner's child as a dependent.
You can also not claim an unrelated child for the Earned Income Credit or claim your domestic partner or their children as a qualifying person for Head of Household filing status.