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How do I know if I qualify for the child tax credit?

You might qualify for the child tax credit of up to $1,000 for each qualifying child.

To qualify, your child must:

  • Be one of these relations to you:
    • Son, daughter, stepchild, or eligible foster child
    • Brother, sister, stepbrother, or stepsister
    • A descendant of any of them like a grandchild, niece, or nephew
  • Be younger than age 17 at the end of the year
  • Live in your home for more than half of the year. If you and the other parent are divorced or separated, the child might live with the other parent for more than half the year. If so, that parent can give up the right to claim the child as a dependent to you. To do so, he or she will need to complete and sign Form 8332. The person claiming the dependency exemption also has the right to claim the child tax credit.
  • Be a U.S. citizen with a Social Security number (SSN)
  • Be claimed as a dependent on your return
  • Not provide more than half of his or her own support
  • Not file a joint return for the year (or file it only as a claim for refund)

The amount you’re allowed as a credit might be reduced if your modified adjusted gross income (AGI) is higher than the threshold amount. Your modified AGI is the AGI on your return, plus certain foreign income. The threshold amounts are:

  • $110,000 for married filing jointly
  • $75,000 for single, head of household, and qualifying widower(er)
  • $55,000 for married filing separately

Claim the credit on Form 1040.

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