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If my only income was unemployment benefits, can I claim the child tax credit?

Yes, if you received taxable unemployment benefits. The child tax credit reduces taxes you owe, so you must have some taxable income to claim the credit.

To qualify for the additional child tax credit, you must have earned income. If unemployment was your only income, you aren't eligible to claim the additional child tax credit.

However, you must also have had earned income in the year to claim either of these:

  • Earned Income Credit (EIC)
  • Child and dependent care credit

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