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Returning Member

Child tax credit

When I file my taxes in 2022 for the year of 2021, this will be the first year I haven't worked since I was in high school. Can I still file with zero dollars since I have a dependent? Or does my husband have to claim our dependent? We file married, filing separately (for reasons I'd like to withhold). With the new monthly money that will come from the government this year for the dependents, I wasn't sure what the protocol will be. I heard from a friend that the typical yearly requirement of $2500 will be waived, but not sure.

2 Replies
Level 15

Child tax credit


As for filing separate returns---that is up to you and your spouse---but you give up other child-related credits by filing that way.


If you were legally married at the end of 2021 your filing choices are married filing jointly or married filing separately.


Married Filing Jointly is usually better, even if one spouse had little or no income. When you file a joint return, you and your spouse will get the married filing jointly standard deduction of $25,100 (+$1300 for each spouse 65 or older)  You are eligible for more credits including education credits, earned income credit, child and dependent care credit, and a larger income limit to receive the child tax credit. 


If you choose to file married filing separately, both spouses have to file the same way—either you both itemize or you both use standard deduction. Your tax rate will be higher than on a joint return. Some of the special rules for filing separately include: you cannot get earned income credit, education credits, adoption credits, or deductions for student loan interest. A higher percent of your Social Security benefits may be taxable. Your limit for SALT (state and local taxes and sales tax) will be only $5000 per spouse. In many cases you will not be able to take the child and dependent care credit. The amount you can contribute to a retirement account will be affected. If you live in a community property state, you will be required to provide additional information regarding your spouse’s income. ( Community property states:  AZ, CA, ID, LA, NV, NM, TX, WA, WI)

 If  you are using online TurboTax to prepare your returns, you will need to prepare two separate returns and pay twice.

**Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to offer the most correct information possible. The poster disclaims any legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information that is contained in this post.**
Returning Member

Child tax credit

thank you!

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