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Child credit

Why can't I get child credit for a child that was 17 years old and living in my home and I supported her the whole year her mother passed away her dad ain't in her life she was about to turn 18 so I didn't file custody but I supported her as my own and still do.

3 Replies
Level 15

Child credit

For tax year 2021 the child tax credit was available for a child who was under the age 18 in 2021.  If you did not claim the child as your dependent on your tax return you are Not eligible for the child tax credit in 2021.

There is not child tax credit for a child age 17 or older for tax year 2022, however there is an Other Dependent Credit of $500 if claiming the child as a dependent on a tax return.

Level 15

Child credit

To get the $3000  CTC the child had to be your biological child, your spouse's child  or  legally your dependent placed by the courts.  If they are none of these then you can only get the $500 non refundable credit so look at your return form 1040 line 19.

Level 15

Child credit

The child must be related to you, for you to claim the child tax credit. A legally appointed foster child counts as related. A step parent is considered related (same as a parent). 


Furthermore, since the child is, apparently, not related to you, you can only claim the $500 "other dependent" credit, if the child lived with you all year. 


There are two types of dependents, "Qualifying Children"(QC) and Other ("Qualifying Relative" in IRS parlance even though they don't have to actually be related). There is no income limit for a QC but there is an age limit, a relationship test and a residence test. Only a QC qualifies a taxpayer for the Earned Income Credit and the Child Tax Credit. The Other dependent (qualifying relative) credit is worth (up to) $500 per dependent and is non-refundable.  That is, it can only be used to reduce an actual tax liability.


A person can still be a Qualifying relative dependent, if not a Qualifying Child, if he meets the 6 tests for claiming a dependent:

  1. Closely Related OR live with the taxpayer ALL year
  2. His/her gross taxable income for the year must be less than $4300 (2021).
  3. The taxpayer must have provided more than 1/2 his support

In either case:

  1. He must be a US citizen or resident of the US, Canada or Mexico
  2. He must not file a joint return with his spouse or be claiming a dependent of his own
  3. He must not be the qualifying child of another taxpayer
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