What You Need to Know About the Child Tax Credit
Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter
In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.
¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.
²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.
³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.
4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.
Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.
When I was in elementary school, there was a boy in my class whose mother seemed to give birth to a new child practically every year. By the time we were in sixth grade, there were eight children in the family. I didn’t realize it then, but looking back I imagine their expenses must have been through the roof.
If you have kids—whether it’s one, two, or eight like my childhood friend’s family—it’s likely that you’re always on the lookout for savings. When it comes time to file 2013 taxes, don’t forget that you can save money with the child tax credit.
What does family size have to do with the child tax credit?
Quite a bit, actually.
There is no limit to the number of children for whom you can claim this particular credit. If you meet all the other criteria, you could conceivably claim up to $1,000 per child for each of your children.
The criteria is as follows:
But there’s more: To claim child tax credits, you must have earned income (wages, self-employment income, or non-taxable combat pay) and your income cannot be too high.
How much income is too much to be eligible?
The income requirement changes with inflation and legislation each year. Most recently, these were the modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) limits by filing status:
If your MAGI is too high, your child tax credit starts phasing out, regardless of the number of qualified children you have and support.
That’s the bad news. What’s the good news?
First, there’s an additional child tax credit that is available to families with three or more qualified children and that you can claim if you were ineligible for the full non-refundable child tax credit.
For example, if you only were able to use $300 per child as your child tax credit, you’ll get the extra $700 per child as the additional child tax credit.
Second, these are refundable credits. This means that even if all of your taxes are wiped out or you didn’t pay a dime into the system, the IRS will still issue a check to you for the credit.
If you’re not sure if you or your children qualify for these two credits, the IRS has a nifty tool to help you. Once you’ve figured it out, use IRS Schedule 8812 to claim the credits for which you qualify.
Eva Rosenberg, EA is the publisher of TaxMama.com ®, where your tax questions are answered. She is the author of several books and ebooks, including Small Business Taxes Made Easy. Eva teaches a tax pro course at IRSExams.com and tax courses you might enjoy at http://www.cpelink.com/teamtaxmama.
Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.