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Can I claim a child tax credit for a child abroad?

I had a child with a local woman in south america. The plan was to bring the family to the US and marry the mom on a Fiance visa. Now that we've broken up and I moved back to the US, I continue to support 90% of the baby's financial expenses (~$300 monthly). Our child was born in south america and I naturalized her at the embassy. She holds a US passport and social security card. Cost of living in Paraguay is $200-$400 a month and I send $300 monthly for care of the baby.

I know I can't list her as a dependent since she doesn't meet the 6 month+ residency requirement. but can I claim a child text credit for her although she has never stepped foot in the US and I send her money?

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2 Replies
Intuit Alumni

Can I claim a child tax credit for a child abroad?

Unfortunately, you cannot claim her for child tax credit as one of the requirements for the child tax credit is that you must claim her as a dependent.

A future note (FYI):  As a US citizen, when she gets older, she will have a US filing requirement annually to declare her worldwide income if she meets the requirements for filing a US tax return. In 2017 for someone single, she would need to file a US return if her income was over $10,400 ( which is the sum of the 2017 standard deduction for a single taxpayer plus one exemption.), or if she had net earnings from self-employment income of at least $400.  US citizens that live abroad have the benefit of the foreign earned income exclusion and the foreign tax credits to help offset double taxation.

Please see the following IRS publication for more information: 

Tax Guide for US Citizens Abroad

New Member

Can I claim a child tax credit for a child abroad?

It is my understanding that the child could be claimed as a Qualifying Relative because they are a US Citizen (hold a passport), and therefore can be treated as a resident for tax purposes.

As far as I can tell, you would not be able to claim the Child Tax Credit because you do not meet the residence test (the child must live you with for more than half the year), and therefore do not meet the requirements for a Qualifying Child for the CTC.

But as of 2018, you would be allowed to claim the $500 Family Tax Credit, under the 2017 TCJA, by claiming the child as Qualifying Relative.

I'll keep looking into these rules, but this is what I've concluded thus far.
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