Action Line: Child tax credit available
BY PHIL MULKINS World Action Line Editor
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
2/26/13 at 7:15 AM
Dear Action Line: What is required for the "child tax credit"? Do I just have to have a child and pay for its care or what? - S.L., Tulsa.
You gotta know its name and feed it and stuff.
But seriously, the Internal Revenue Service website says "If you have a child under age 17, the 'child tax credit' might save you money at tax-time. The non-refundable 'child tax credit' can help reduce your federal income tax as much as $1,000 for each qualifying child you claim on your return. For this credit, a child must pass seven qualification tests.
Age test: The child must have been under age 17 at the end of 2012.
Relationship test: The child must be your son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, stepbrother or stepsister. A child may also be a descendant of any of these individuals, including your grandchild, niece or nephew. You would always treat an adopted child as your own child. An adopted child includes a child lawfully placed with you for legal adoption.
Support test: The child must not have provided more than half of his own support for the year.
Dependent test: You must claim the child as a dependent on your federal tax return.
Joint return test: The child cannot file a joint return for the year, unless the only reason for filing is to claim a refund.
Citizenship test: The child must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national or U.S. resident alien.
Residence test: In most cases, the child must have lived with you for more than half of 2012.
Limitations: The "child tax credit" is subject to income limitations and may be reduced or eliminated depending on your filing status and income.
Additional child tax credit: If you qualify and get less than the full child tax credit, you could receive a refund even if you owe no tax with the refundable "additional child tax credit."
Schedule 8812: If you qualify to claim the "child tax credit" make sure to check whether you must complete and attach "Schedule 8812, Child tax credit," tulsaworld.com/IRSSked8812, with your return. If you qualify to claim the "additional child tax credit," you must complete and attach Schedule 8812.
"Publication 972, Child tax credit," tulsaworld.com/IRSPub972, can provide you with more details. View it online at IRS.gov or request it by calling 800-829-3676.
Interactive tax assistant tool: Visit the IRS website tulsaworld.com/IRSInteractiveTaxAssistant to check your ability to claim the credit. The ITA helps answer tax law questions.
Additional IRS resources: IRS Free File at tulsaworld.com/IRSFreeFile and E-file Options at tulsaworld.com/IRSFiling
IRS YouTube video: View this in Spanish - "Do Your Taxes for Free: Taxes Made Less Taxing" - at tulsaworld.com/IRSUTubeTaxesSpan
Original Print Headline: Parents may be able to claim 'child tax credit'
Submit Action Line questions by calling 918-699-8888, emailing phil.mulkins@TulsaWorld.com or by mailing them to Tulsa World Action Line, PO Box 1770, Tulsa OK 74102-1770.