Tax Resources

What is Child Tax Credit?

What is child tax credit?

A child tax credit is a nonrefundable tax credit that a taxpayer may be entitled to when there is a qualifying child. Unlike other tax credit, a taxpayer can be married and filing separately and still be eligible to claim the child tax credit if the qualifications for child tax credit are met.

What is the maximum for claiming child tax credit?

The maximum for the child tax credit that a tax payer can claim is $1,000 for each qualifying child.

What happens if the child tax credit is more than the tax?

If the child tax credit is more than the tax owed, then since the child tax credit is nonrefundable, the taxpayer may be able to take the additional child tax credit which is refundable.

Who is a qualifying child eligible for child tax credit?

A qualifying child is:

  • the taxpayer's child including:
    • son, daughter, stepdaughter, stepson
    • eligible foster child
    • brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister
    • of the one of the above listed relatives including grandchild, niece or nephew
  • under age 17 at year end
  • a US citizen, US national or US resident
  • did not provide more than half of his or her own support during the year
  • lived with the taxpayer for more than half the year
What if the child is a qualifying child for more than one person?

Only one person can claim the child as a qualifying child for all the following tax benefits unless the parents are divorced, separated, or never married.

  • head of household filing status
  • dependency exemption
  • credit for child and dependent care expenses
  • child tax credit
  • additional child tax credit
  • earned income credit
What is the phase out amount for child tax credit?
Filing status

Married filing jointly


Single, head of household, qualifying widow(er)


Married filing separately


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