We are a family with three kids, new immigrants from Russia who became legal permanent residents of the USA (NC) on January 17, 2020 (except our youngest 3-years old son, who is already a citizen of the United States).
We are filing our first tax declaration (joint declaration) with my husband for 2020.
I have a concern about whether my youngest son is qualified for the child tax credit for the following reasons:
- Our son lived with me a little bit more than half of the 2020 year, precisely 189 days in total during the year. However, this number of days includes the time when we lived together outside the USA, namely:
- Our family first crossed the border of the USA and became lawful permanent residents on January 17, 2020, only, so we lived in Russia all together with our son until January 17, 2020;
- We initially came to the USA without our son since we left him with his granny for a vacation in Russia until we find accommodation and a job. We intended to pick him up in the USA in May 2020. Unfortunately, the flight was canceled due to the pandemic restrictions, and I was not able to purchase any tickets within the next few months. My son’s grandparents were not able to bring him to the USA as well.
- I finally purchased tickets to Russia for July 2020 and went there to pick my son up.
- I stayed with my son in Russia in the middle of July 2020 for 14 days because of the necessity of quarantine for 14 days according to Russian COVID 19 rules until going to the airport to fly back to the USA (so I couldn’t return earlier).
- My son should have lived with us from May 2020, but we couldn’t pick him back from his vacation with his grandparents due to the cancellation of flights from Russia to the USA because of the COVID19 pandemic. He has been continuously living with us after I picked him up from Russia until the current date.
- As a result, the number of days when my son lived in the USA in 2020 is less than half of a year, but the number of days when our son lived with his family is more than half of a year.
Taking into account the information above, I cannot understand whether he qualifies for a child tax credit or not and will be really grateful to receive your advice.
Thank you very much for your time and consideration!
The Child Tax Credit law states that a child must have lived with you over half the year. Half the year is 183 days so you pass the mark and should be allowed to claim him. The law does not say" in the US" because people live all over the world.
In addition, it could be argued that your son was vacationing with family. For example, if you send you son to summer camp and he is gone all summer, he is considered to live with you even though he isn't actually with you. Same for vacations, college, various life events the child is presumed to be returning home and only gone for a temporary absence.
Welcome and best wishes!
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I have a concern about whether my youngest son is qualified for the child tax credit
Based on my understanding of your post, your youngest does qualify for the child tax credit. He did live with you more than half the year. There's nothing in the IRS requlations that say he has to live with you "in the United States" for more than half the year. Without question, he lived with you for the first 17 days of 2020.
Then you state he stayed behind "vacationing" with other family. That time vacationing counts has days having lived with you, since after the "vacation" he returned to you where you live now. That vacation is considered a temporary absence, and does not count against you.