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previous page Previous Page: Publication 17 - Your Federal Income Tax - Figuring the Credit Yourself
next page Next Page: Publication 17 - Your Federal Income Tax - Amount of Credit
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taxmap/pub17/p17-177.htm#en_us_publink100034969

Chapter 34
Child Tax Credit(p229)

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What's New(p229)


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Midwestern disaster tax relief.(p229)

If your main home was in a Midwestern disaster area when the disaster occurred and your 2008 earned income is less than your 2007 earned income, you may be able to elect to use your 2007 earned income to figure your 2008 additional child tax credit. See Form 8812, Additional Child Tax Credit, and Publication 4492-B, Information for Affected Taxpayers in the Midwestern Disaster Areas, for more information.
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Earned income.(p229)

The earned income threshold generally needed to claim the additional child tax credit has been reduced to $8,500.
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The child tax credit is a credit that may reduce your tax by as much as $1,000 for each of your qualifying children.
The additional child tax credit is a credit you may be able to take if you are not able to claim the full amount of the child tax credit.
This chapter explains the following.
EIC
The child tax credit and the additional child tax credit should not be confused with the child and dependent care credit discussed in chapter 32.
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If you have no tax.(p229)


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If you have no tax.

Credits, such as the child tax credit, the adoption credit, or the credit for child and dependent care expenses, are used to reduce tax. If your tax on Form 1040, line 46, or Form 1040A, line 28, is zero, do not figure the child tax credit because there is no tax to reduce. However, you may qualify for the additional child tax credit on line 66 (Form 1040) or line 41 (Form 1040A).

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Useful items

You may want to see:


Publication
 972 Child Tax Credit
Form (and Instructions)
 8812: Additional Child Tax Credit
 8901: Information on Qualifying Children Who Are Not Dependents
 W-4: Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate
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Qualifying Child(p229)


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A qualifying child for purposes of the child tax credit is a child who:
  1. Is your son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant of any of them (for example, your grandchild, niece, or nephew),
  2. Was under age 17 at the end of 2008,
  3. Did not provide over half of his or her own support for 2008,
  4. Lived with you for more than half of 2008 (see Exceptions to time lived with you below), and
  5. Was a U.S. citizen, a U.S. national, or a resident of the United States. If the child was adopted, see Adopted child below.
For each qualifying child you must either check the box on Form 1040 or Form 1040A, line 6c, column (4), or complete Form 8901 (if the child is not your dependent).
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Example.(p229)

Your son turned 17 on December 30, 2008. He is a citizen of the United States and you claimed him as a dependent on your return. He is not a qualifying child for the child tax credit because he was not under age 17 at the end of 2008.
taxmap/pub17/p17-177.htm#en_us_publink100034974

Exceptions to time lived with you.(p229)


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Exceptions to time lived with you.

A child is considered to have lived with you for all of 2008 if the child was born or died in 2008 and your home was this child's home for the entire time he or she was alive. Temporary absences for special circumstances, such as for school, vacation, medical care, military service, or detention in a juvenile facility, count as time lived at home.
There are also exceptions for kidnapped children and children of divorced or separated parents. For details, see Residency Test, in chapter 3.
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Qualifying child of more than one person.(p229)


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Qualifying child of more than one person.

A special rule applies if your qualifying child is the qualifying child of more than one person. For details, see Special Test for Qualifying Child of More Than One Person, in chapter 3.
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Adopted child.(p229)


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An adopted child is always treated as your own child. An adopted child includes a child lawfully placed with you for legal adoption.
If you are a U.S. citizen or U.S. national and your adopted child lived with you as a member of your household all year, that child meets condition (5) above to be a qualifying child for the child tax credit.
previous pagePrevious Page: Publication 17 - Your Federal Income Tax - Figuring the Credit Yourself
next pageNext Page: Publication 17 - Your Federal Income Tax - Amount of Credit
 Use previous pagenext page to find additional occurrences of topic items.Index for this Publication