How to calculate child tax credit

Written by pamela gardapee
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How to calculate child tax credit
If you directly support children under the age of 17, you may qualify for child tax credits. (children image by Mat Hayward from

The child tax credit is for people who have a qualifying child or sibling under the age of 17 and a U.S. citizen. The child must be your dependent. Your income is also a determining factor for claiming the credit. If you have a child, you need to know how to calculate the child tax credit so that you can file this amount on your federal income tax return if you qualify. This is not a refundable credit, which means you can only use the credit to reduce a tax bill you actually owe.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Publication 972 Child Tax Credit worksheet page four

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  1. 1

    Fill out your federal income tax return up to the part about the child tax credit. You need to stop at this line and use the worksheet in Publication 972 to figure your credit. Open Publication 972 -- find a link in the References section -- to page 4 for the worksheet.

  2. 2

    Enter your number of qualifying children and multiply that number by £650. Enter that total in box 1.

  3. 3

    Find the amount on line 38 (1040), line 22 (1040A) or line 36 (1040NR) -- this should be your Adjusted Gross Income. Enter the number into box 2 of the worksheet.

  4. 4

    Enter any amounts you have on line 18 (2555-EZ), lines 50 or 45 (2555) or line 15 (4563) if you are a 1040 filer and use these forms. If you use 1040NR or 1040A, you will enter zero in box 3 of the worksheet.

  5. 5

    Add lines 3 and 3 together and enter the total in box 4. In box 5, enter the amount shown on the worksheet that meets your filing status. For box 6, answer whether or not line 4 is more than line 5. If you answer no, you do not enter anything in box 6. You will enter zero in box 7. If you answer yes, you will follow the directions and enter that amount in box 6.

  6. 6

    Multiply line 6by .05 (5 per cent) and enter the amount in box 7. If box 1is not more than the amount in box 7, you cannot take the credit. If it is more than box 7, subtract box 7 from box 1 and enter that amount in box 8. Then continue to the second part of the worksheet.

  7. 7

    Enter the amount from line 46 (1040), line 28 (1040A) or line 43 (1040NR) in box 9.

  8. 8

    Figure box 10 by entering the information from your 1040 (lines 47, 48, 49, 50 and 51), 1040A (29, 30, 31, 32) or 1040NP (44, 45, 46). Add up the totals and enter the amount in box 10.

  9. 9

    Answer the questions in the next section and enter the amount in box 11. Then subtract box 11 from box nine and enter that total in box 12. Complete the worksheet by answering the question for box 13 and enter the appropriate amount in box 13 and on your federal return.

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