If you have a child under age 17, the Child Tax Credit may save you money at tax time. Here are some key facts the IRS wants you to know about the credit.

  • Amount. The non-refundable Child Tax Credit may help cut your federal income tax by up to $1,000 for each qualifying child you claim on your tax return.
  • Qualifications. A child must pass seven tests to qualify for this credit:
    1. Age test. The child was under age 17 at the end of 2013.
    2. Relationship test. The child is your son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, stepbrother, or stepsister. A child can also be a descendant of any of these persons. For example, your grandchild, niece or nephew will meet this test. Adopted children also qualify. An adopted child includes a child lawfully placed with you for legal adoption.
    3. Support test. The child did not provide more than half of his or her own support for 2013.
    4. Dependent test. You claim the child as a dependent on your 2013 federal income tax return.
    5. Joint return test. A married child can't file a joint return with their spouse they are filing jointly only to claim a tax refund.
    6. Citizenship test. The child must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national or U.S. resident alien. For more see Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens.
    7. Residence test. In most cases, the child must have lived with you for more than half of 2013.
  • Limitations. Your filing status and income may reduce or eliminate the credit.
  • Additional Child Tax Credit. If you get less than the full Child Tax Credit, you may qualify for the refundable Additional Child Tax Credit. This means you could get a refund even if you owe no tax.
  • Schedule 8812. If you qualify to claim the Child Tax Credit, make sure to check whether you must file Schedule 8812, Child Tax Credit, with your return. If you qualify to claim the Additional Child Tax Credit, you must complete and attach Schedule 8812.
  • Interactive Tax Assistant Tool. You can use the ITA tool at IRS.gov to see if you can claim the credit. The tool can answer many of your tax questions.

For more on this topic see IRS Publication 972, Child Tax Credit, at IRS.gov. You can have it mailed by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

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