Child Tax Credit Eligibility

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Child Tax Credit Eligibility

Federal Tax Credits

Child Tax Credit Eligibility

In order to claim child tax credits, you need to check the child tax credit eligibility rules to see if you have a qualifying child or children who qualify you to claim the child tax credits. Then you can calculate the amount of child tax credit you can claim.

What is a qualifying child for child tax credit?

A qualifying child for the child tax credit is your:

  • son, daughter, stepchild, foster child,
  • brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister
  • descendant of any of them (such as grandchild, great grandchildren, great great grandchildren)

Is an adopted child a qualifying child eligible for child tax credit?

An adopted child is always treated as your own child, even if the adoption is not final but the child is placed with you by an authorized placement agency for legal adoption.

Child tax credit eligibility rules

Citizenship test

The child must be a citizen or resident of the United States, or US National.

Age test

The child must be under age 17 at the end of the tax year. That means the child has to be 16 or younger on December 31 of the tax year. Generally, you must claim the child as your dependent.

Residency test

The child must have lived with you for more than half of the tax year. There is an exception for children of divorced or separated parents. The noncustodial parent could claim the child as a dependent and claim the child tax credit. A qualifying child who was born or who died during the tax year is considered to have lived with the you for the entire year if your home was the child's home for the entire time he or she was alive.

Support test

The child cannot provide more than half of his or her own total support for the tax year.


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