We cannot see your tax return or your account. You do not say what the source of your income was. Did you have a job that gave you a W-2? Or was your $8686 of income from some other source?
You only receive child-related credits like earned income credit, child tax credit or the childcare credit if you had income earned from working. If your income came from something else--like unemployment compensation, Social Security, etc., you are not eligible for any child-related credits. And with less than $9K of income, you have no tax liability unless you were self-employed and owe self-employment tax.
If you did have income from working, then look at your Form 1040 to see what child-related credits you got.
Look at your 2019 Form 1040 to see the 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
As for it not being "fair" that you do not get a refund....did you file yet? If you choose to use a paid version of the software, you pay to use it no matter whether you get a tax refund or not. With so little income you could have used Free File instead of a paid version of the software. It looks like you are posting from online Deluxe. If you have not filed yet, you could switch to Free File.
If you qualify to use it, there is another full-featured free version of the software:
Try Free File:
You qualify if your income was $36,000 or less, or $69,000 or less if active duty military, or if you qualify for Earned Income Credit
Note: If you do not qualify to use Free File then you will have to upgrade to Deluxe or higher in the paid versions of the software.
Online Deluxe $60 State software $50
Or—-Use this IRS site for other ways to file for free
what type of income was the 8686 and how old is your son? it may be that your type of income and/or the age of your son made you ineligible for any refundable tax credits. unless you are not a US citizen you still should get stimulus for yourself and if the son will be under 17 on 2/31/2020 an additional $500 for him.
Did you already file? If so that was a mistake, you should not file until any questions you have are answered. If you did not file, we might be able to help you fix any issues. If you did file, you will have to prepare an amended return.
Start by printing your tax return. Look at it carefully.
- Is the head of household box checked?
- Is your dependent listed? What boxes are checked?
- Do you have any credits listed on line 13 or line 18?
Then, answer these questions about your dependent:
- Are you living alone with your child or with an unmarried partner?
- If alone with your child, does the child live with you more than half the nights of the year? If yes, how did you answer that question in Turbotax?
- If you live with an unmarried partner, did the partner also put the child on their tax return? How did you answer the question about a custody agreement to share the dependent?