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Child Tax Credit Questions

Do you qualify for the child tax credit? Did you miss filing the credit one year and need to know what to do? There are specific circumstances that determine qualification. Read below where individuals have received answers from Experts pertaining to child tax credit questions.

What is the child tax credit and who qualifies?

When a family has dependent children, they are often eligible to receive a tax credit. There are several factors that will determine this. Generally, a family would need to make less than $110,000 to receive the whole credit and have at least one qualifying child. If a family earns over this amount, there is still a chance of qualifying for a partial. Other factors besides income are age, relationship, support, dependant, citizenship, and residence.  

What is the difference between child tax credit and earned income credit?

The EIC is a credit designed to create a refund for people with low incomes. It effectively represents a partial refund of the social security and  tax withheld from your wages. This credit is available regardless of whether you paid in income tax or not. The Child Tax credit is only available to the extent you owe income tax.

How can one claim the credit missed on a previous years return?

The person would need to file an amended return using Form 1040X to fix the return. They can fill the form out and then mail it to the IRS. It could take up to12 weeks to process the return.

Can an overseas missionary wanting to start a business, claim the credit for a nanny in that country, and what is the statute?

The care provider would generally need to be a foreign citizen and according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Publication 503 “U.S. citizens and resident aliens living abroad. If you are living abroad, your care provider may not have, and may not be required to get, a U.S. taxpayer identification number (for example, an SSN or an EIN). If so, enter "LAFCP" (Living Abroad Foreign Care Provider) in the space for the care provider's taxpayer identification number.”

Can a parent of a 21-year-old college student claim the credit?

This credit is only for children who are 17 years or younger, making the 21-year-old student a dependant but not eligible for the credit.

Can I claim my girlfriend and her two children as "qualifying relatives" on my taxes?

The children can be claimed as qualifying relatives if they have lived with you all year and you pay over half of their living expenses. You will only be able to claim them as dependants, but not use the head of household status, earned income credit, or the child tax credit. However, if the mother is required to file a return, she will need to claim the children on her own and should take advantage of the credits.

Can someone claim unrelated children if they are awarded guardianship?

The children must be placed with you by an authorized placement agency, by judgment, or other order of any court of competent jurisdiction to claim the children as qualifying children. If the children have not been placed by authorized placement agency or court order and the children lived with you for the entire year, you provided over 50% of their support and the children are not being claim by someone with higher priority under the tie-breaker rules you can claim the children as qualifying relatives. If you claim the children as qualifying relatives you cannot receive the earned income tax credit or the child tax credit, only the exemptions.

When a person or family meets the qualifications for the child tax credit, they will want to utilize this when filling out their tax return. However, often not knowing the rules or qualifications can cause questions. When questions arise, one can rest assure knowing Experts are available to turn to for answers.


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