||2008 Tax Year
Midwestern disaster tax relief. If your main home was in a Midwestern disaster area when the disaster occurred and your 2008 earned income is less than your
2007 earned income, you may be able to elect to use your 2007 earned income to figure your 2008 additional child tax credit.
See Form 8812, Additional Child Tax Credit, and Publication 4492-B, Information for Affected Taxpayers in the Midwestern Disaster
Areas, for more information.
Earned income. The earned income threshold generally needed to claim the additional child tax credit has been reduced to $8,500.
The child tax credit is a credit that may reduce your tax by as much as $1,000 for each of your qualifying children.
The additional child tax credit is a credit you may be able to take if you are not able to claim the full amount of the child
This chapter explains the following.
The child tax credit and the additional child tax credit should not be confused with the child and dependent care credit discussed
in chapter 32.
If you have no tax.
Credits, such as the child tax credit, the adoption credit, or the credit for child and dependent care expenses, are
used to reduce tax. If your tax on Form 1040, line 46, or Form 1040A, line 28, is zero, do not figure the child tax credit
because there is no tax to reduce. However, you may qualify for the additional child tax credit on line 66 (Form 1040) or
line 41 (Form 1040A).
Useful Items - You may want to see:
Form (and Instructions)
Additional Child Tax Credit
Information on Qualifying Children Who Are Not Dependents
Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate
A qualifying child for purposes of the child tax credit is a child who:
Is your son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant of any of them (for
example, your grandchild, niece, or nephew),
Was under age 17 at the end of 2008,
Did not provide over half of his or her own support for 2008,
Lived with you for more than half of 2008 (see
Exceptions to time lived with you
Was a U.S. citizen, a U.S. national, or a resident of the United States. If the child was adopted, see
For each qualifying child you must either check the box on Form 1040 or Form 1040A, line 6c, column (4), or complete Form
8901 (if the child is not your dependent).
Your son turned 17 on December 30, 2008. He is a citizen of the United States and you claimed him as a dependent on your return.
He is not a qualifying child for the child tax credit because he was not under age 17 at the end of 2008.
Exceptions to time lived with you.
A child is considered to have lived with you for all of 2008 if the child was born or died in 2008 and your home was
this child's home for the entire time he or she was alive. Temporary absences for special circumstances, such as for school,
vacation, medical care, military service, or detention in a juvenile facility, count as time lived at home.
There are also exceptions for kidnapped children and children of divorced or separated parents. For details, see
, in chapter 3.
An adopted child is always treated as your own child. An adopted child includes a child lawfully placed with you for
If you are a U.S. citizen or U.S. national and your adopted child lived with you as a member of your household all
year, that child meets condition (5) above to be a qualifying child for the child tax credit.
The maximum amount you can claim for the credit is $1,000 for each qualifying child.
You must reduce your child tax credit if either (1) or (2) applies.
The amount on line 46, Form 1040, or line 28, Form 1040A, is less than the credit. If this amount is zero, you cannot take
this credit because there is no tax to reduce. But you may be able to take the additional child tax credit. See
Additional Child Tax Credit,
Your modified adjusted gross income (AGI) is above the amount shown below for your filing status.
Married filing jointly - $110,000.
Single, head of household, or qualifying widow(er) - $75,000.
Married filing separately - $55,000.
For purposes of the child tax credit, your modified AGI is your AGI plus the following amounts that may apply to you.
Any amount excluded from income because of the exclusion of income from
Puerto Rico. On the dotted line next to line 38, Form 1040, enter the amount excluded and identify as “EPRI.” Also attach a copy of any Form(s) 499R-2/W-2PR to your return.
Any amount on line 45 or line 50 of Form 2555, Foreign Earned Income.
Any amount on line 18 of Form 2555-EZ, Foreign Earned Income Exclusion.
Any amount on line 15 of Form 4563, Exclusion of Income for Bona Fide Residents of American Samoa.
If you do not have any of the above, your modified AGI is the same as your AGI.
Your AGI is the amount on line 38, Form 1040, or line 22, Form 1040A.
To claim the child tax credit, you must file Form 1040 or Form 1040A. You cannot claim the child tax credit on Form 1040EZ.
You must provide the name and identification number (usually a social security number) on your tax return (or Form 8901) for
each qualifying child.
Answer the Questions in your form instructions for line 52, Form 1040, or line 33, Form 1040A, to find out which child tax credit worksheet you
can use to figure the credit.
If you answer “Yes” to question 1, 2, or 3 in your Form 1040 instructions or question 1 in your Form 1040A instructions, you must complete the
child tax credit worksheet in Publication 972. Otherwise, you can use the Child Tax Credit Worksheet in your Form 1040 or
Form 1040A instructions. (See the filled-in example, later.)
Additional Child Tax Credit
This credit is for certain individuals who get less than the full amount of the child tax credit. The additional child tax
credit may give you a refund even if you do not owe any tax.
How to claim the additional child tax credit.
To claim the additional child tax credit, follow the steps below.
Make sure you figured the amount, if any, of your child tax credit. See
Claiming the Credit
If you answered “Yes” on line 4 or line 5 of the Child Tax Credit Worksheet in the Form 1040 or Form 1040A instructions, or line 13 of the Child
Tax Credit Worksheet in Publication 972, use Form 8812 to see if you can take the additional child tax credit.
If you have an additional child tax credit on line 13 of Form 8812, carry it to line 66, Form 1040, or line 41, Form 1040A.
Checking Your Withholding
The child tax credit decreases your tax. You can check your tax withholding by using Publication 919, How Do I Adjust My Tax
If you are having too much tax withheld, and you prefer to have the money during the year, you may be able to decrease your
withholding. You do this by completing a new Form W-4 and giving it to your employer.
Amy Brown files as head of household and has two dependent children under age 17. The children are qualifying children for
purposes of the child tax credit. Amy's only income is her salary of $30,350. Amy chooses to itemize her deductions and files
Form 1040. Her AGI, shown on line 38 of her Form 1040, is $30,350. This is her taxable earned income.
Amy does not file Form 2555, 2555-EZ, or 4563. She does not exclude income from Puerto Rico. Her modified AGI is $30,350.
Amy's tax, shown on line 46 of her Form 1040, is $1,334. She claims a $225 credit for child and dependent care expenses on
line 48. She claims a $1,029 earned income credit on line 64a. She has no other credits.
After answering the Questions in the Form 1040 instructions for line 52, she completes the child tax credit worksheet to figure her child tax credit of
$1,109. Amy's completed questions and child tax credit worksheet are shown later.
Amy reads the TIP in the worksheet and finds that she may be able to take the additional child tax credit. See
Additional Child Tax Credit
and Amy's completed Form 8812, later.
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