If you qualify for the child tax credit, you may be able to reduce the amount of federal income tax you owe the IRS by up to $1000 per qualifying child under 17. They have to pass the following requirements in order to be qualifying:
- Age - under the age of 17 at the end of the tax year.
- Relationship - biological child, adopted child, stepchild, eligible foster child, sibling, stepsibling, or a descendant of any of the following.
- Citizenship - a US citizen, US national, or a resident of the US.
- Support - they did not provide over half of their own support.
- Living situation - they must have lived with the person filing for more than half of the taxable year (there are a few exceptions to this requirement). (See qualifying children section)
Of course, your credit may be limited if you make over a certain amount of income. The phase out amount is determined by your filing status:
- Married filing jointly: $110,000
- Married filing separately: $55,000
- All others: $75,000
Your credit could also be limited by the amount of income tax you owe and any alternative income taxes you may owe.
If your child tax credit turns out to be more than the income tax you owe, then you could receive a refund of up to $1000 for each qualifying child.
You may claim the child tax credit using either the 1040 or the 1040A and the instructions for the proper form should be in the 1040 or 1040A instruction booklet. The form that you will need to file a child tax credit is also in publication 972.