Child Tax Credit FAQ

October 2, 2020

If you have children, paying taxes can mean qualifying for the Child Tax Credit. Learn more about this tax credit if it is applicable to your tax preparation needs. And remember, your Encino tax consultants are here to help guide you through the tax prep and filing process at any time.  

How Do You Qualify For the Child Tax Credit? 

Qualifying for the tax credit means all requirements apply to your financial situation. The child or children must be 17 by the end of the tax year and have their own Social Security Number. Additionally, the child or children must be daughters, sons, stepdaughters or sons, or adopted daughters or sons. Additional qualifying children include foster children, half-brothers and sisters, and their descendants.

Requirements also include child(ren) who live with you for more than half the year, do not support themselves, and are either U.S. residents, aliens, or nationals. Children who are legal residents of Mexico or Canada do not qualify. 

If you meet all of these requirements, you are entitled to up to $2,000 per child in tax deductions. 

Can a Noncustodial Parent Claim the Credit? 

As long as the noncustodial parent qualifies for all of the above requirements, they can claim their children as tax credits. However, they must attach a letter signed by the custodial parent to their tax return that claims the children as dependents. As with custodial parents, noncustodial parents must have their taxpayer identification number (TIN) by the return or extension’s due date to qualify. 

Is It Possible to Qualify For the Child & Dependent Care Credit as well as the Child Tax Credit? 

Assuming you meet the requirements for both credits, you can use both of them to reduce your tax costs for the year. To qualify for the Child & Dependent Care Credit, the dependent(s) must be under 13 years of age and or mentally or physically unable to take care of themselves. Such individuals must live with the taxpayer for at least six months. The IRS also accepts the Child & Dependent Care Credit from taxpayers if their spouses are physically or mentally incapable of taking care of themselves and have lived with their partners for at least half the year. 

Take advantage of the tax consulting and preparation services available from your local accountant service in Los Angeles. Wallace & Associates offers tax and accounting services to residents throughout Los Angeles and the surrounding areas.