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IRS.gov Website
Publication 17
taxmap/pub17/p17-174.htm#en_us_publink1000174526

Chapter 34
Child Tax Credit(p224)


What's New(p224)

rule
taxmap/pub17/p17-174.htm#en_us_publink100051882
Taxpayer identification number needed by due date of return. (p224)
If you do not have a social security number (SSN) or IRS individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) by the due date of your 2016 return (including extensions), you cannot claim the child tax credit or the additional child tax credit on either your original or an amended 2016 return, even if you later get an SSN or ITIN. Also, neither credit is allowed on either your original or an amended 2016 return for a child who does not have an SSN, ITIN, or IRS adoption taxpayer identification number (ATIN) by the due date of your return (including extensions), even if that child later gets one of those numbers.
If you apply for an ATIN or ITIN on or before the due date of your 2016 return (including extensions) and the IRS issues you an ATIN or ITIN as a result of the application, the IRS will consider your ATIN or ITIN as issued on or before the due date of your return.
taxmap/pub17/p17-174.htm#en_us_publink100051883
Refunds for 2016 tax returns claiming EIC or ACTC cannot be issued before Feb. 15, 2017. (p224)
Due to changes in the law, if you claim the earned income tax credit (EIC) and/or the additional child tax credit (ACTC) on your income tax return, the IRS cannot issue your refund before February 15. This applies to the entire refund, not just the portion associated with the EIC or ACTC. Hardship claims for these refunds will not be accepted prior to Feb. 15, as this refund hold is required by law.
The IRS will begin accepting and processing tax returns once the filing season begins. Check Where’s My Refund? on IRS.gov after February 15 for your personalized refund status. It's updated once a day and remains the best way to check the status of your refund.
taxmap/pub17/p17-174.htm#en_us_publink100051884
New 2- and 10-year bans for disregarding CTC or ACTC rules.(p224)
If you claim the child tax credit (CTC) or additional child tax credit (ACTC), but you are not eligible for either credit and it is later determined that your error was due to reckless or intentional disregard of the CTC or ACTC rules, you will not be allowed to claim either credit for 2 years. If it is determined that your error was due to fraud, you will not be allowed to claim either credit for 10 years. You may also have to pay penalties.

Reminder(p224)

rule
taxmap/pub17/p17-174.htm#en_us_publink100048841
Foreign earned income.(p224)
If you are filing Form 2555 or 2555-EZ (both relating to foreign earned income), you cannot claim the additional child tax credit.
taxmap/pub17/p17-174.htm#en_us_publink1000177261
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.
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.
taxmap/pub17/p17-174.htm#en_us_publink1000174531

If you have no tax.(p224)

rule
Credits, such as the child tax credit or the child and dependent care credit, reduce your tax. If your tax on Form 1040, line 47, or Form 1040A, line 30, is zero, you can't claim the child tax credit because there is no tax to reduce. However, you may qualify for the additional child tax credit on line 67 (Form 1040) or line 43 (Form 1040A).

taxmap/pub17/p17-174.htm#TXMP0bcce030

Useful items

You may want to see:


Publication
 972  Child Tax Credit
Form (and Instructions)
 Schedule 8812 (Form 1040A or 1040): Child Tax Credit
taxmap/pub17/p17-174.htm#en_us_publink1000174532

Qualifying Child(p224)

rule
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, half brother, half sister, or a descendant of any of them (for example, your grandchild, niece, or nephew),
  2. Was under age 17 at the end of 2016,
  3. Did not provide over half of his or her own support for 2016,
  4. Lived with you for more than half of 2016 (see Exceptions to time lived with you, later),
  5. Is claimed as a dependent on your return,
  6. Does not file a joint return for the year (or files it only to claim a refund of withheld income tax or estimated tax paid), and
  7. Was a U.S. citizen, a U.S. national, or a resident of the United States. If the child was adopted, see Adopted child, later.
For each qualifying child you must check the box on Form 1040 or Form 1040A, line 6c.
taxmap/pub17/p17-174.htm#en_us_publink1000174535

Example 1.(p224)

Your son turned 17 on December 30, 2016. 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 2016.
taxmap/pub17/p17-174.htm#en_us_publink1000273134

Example 2.(p224)

Your daughter turned 8 years old in 2016. She is not a citizen of the United States, has an ITIN, and lived in Mexico all of 2016. She is not a qualifying child for the child tax credit because she was not a U.S. citizen or national or a resident of the United States for 2016.
taxmap/pub17/p17-174.htm#en_us_publink1000273138

Filers who have certain child dependents with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).(p224)

rule
If you are claiming a child tax credit or additional child tax credit for a child you identified on your tax return with an ITIN instead of a social security number (SSN), you must complete Part I of Schedule 8812 (Form 1040A or 1040).
Although a child may be your dependent, you may claim a child tax credit or additional child tax credit only for a dependent who is a citizen, national, or resident of the United States. To be treated as a resident of the United States, a child generally will need to meet the requirements of the substantial presence test. For more information about the substantial presence test, see Pub. 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens.
taxmap/pub17/p17-174.htm#en_us_publink1000265398

Adopted child.(p224)

rule
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 all year as a member of your household in 2016, that child meets condition (7) above to be a qualifying child for the child tax credit.
taxmap/pub17/p17-174.htm#en_us_publink1000174536

Exceptions to time lived with you. (p224)

rule
A child is considered to have lived with you for more than half of 2016 if the child was born or died in 2016 and your home was this child's home for more than half the time he or she was alive. Temporary absences by you or the child for special circumstances, such as for school, vacation, business, medical care, military service, or detention in a juvenile facility, count as time the child lived with you.
There are also exceptions for kidnapped children and children of divorced or separated parents. For details, see Residency Test in chapter 3.
taxmap/pub17/p17-174.htm#en_us_publink1000174538

Qualifying child of more than one person.(p224)

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