How to Qualify for the Child Tax Credit 2018, 2019

child tax credit

The first factor that you need to consider when applying for the Child Tax Credit is your income. It is a benefit that is limited according to how much you earn, and you won’t qualify if you earn more than the specified amount.

The next element is your child or children. Once again, the easiest way to find out whether or not you’re eligible is to find a child tax credit calculator tool to find out where you stand. The best thing about these tools is that they will show you what you are eligible for each year, and you can keep coming back if your situation changes.

In 2018, the child credit is capped at $2,000 per child, an amount that is not set to change. If you earned more than $3,000 in the last tax year, the credit is partially refundable..

Child Requirements

Naturally, apart from the financial side of things, you need to have a child or children that meet all the following qualifying criteria:

  • The child must be 16 years old or younger on December 31st.
  • The child must be an American citizen or national, or a resident alien.
  • Only children who you claim as your dependent on your tax return are eligible.
  • When applying for the credit, the child must be related to you as your offspring – think son, daughter, stepson, or stepdaughter; a sibling – again, brother, stepbrother, sister, or stepsister; or a grandchild, niece, or nephew. Children that have been legally placed under your care through adoption or court order may also benefit from the Child Tax Credit.
  • Children who are being considered for the Child Tax Credit need to have lived with you for a minimum of 183 nights in a year, although certain conditions and rules apply when you are divorced, for example.
  • Lastly, if the child as managed to cover more than half of their financial requirements by themselves, they may not be eligible.

Filing on your own or as the head of a household? You need to be aware that those earning more than $75,000 are no longer eligible for the Child Tax Credit. This figure jumps to $110,000 if you and your spouse are filing together, or $55,000 if you are married but filing separate returns.

Did you know that you may also qualify for the Earned Income Credit for those with low to moderate incomes.

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