Federal Child Tax Credit (CTC)

What is the Child Tax Credit (CTC)?
The Federal Child Tax Credit (CTC) is a credit that helps people who are working and raising children. If you get it, you will either get a larger tax refund (money given back to you) or pay less in federal taxes.
The Federal CTC is administered by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Who can get the CTC?


The CTC is for working parents (or others such as grandparents, relatives, or foster parents) who are raising one or more children. There are also rules about which children count for the CTC (see next question).  To get the CTC, your income must be below the limits (see question 6 for the limits). You must file your taxes to receive the CTC. Lots of people who can get the CTC and other refundable tax credits do not get them because they don’t file their taxes. They miss out on money that is meant for them.


How much money is the CTC worth?


The credit is worth up to $1,000 per qualifying child. The refundable portion of the credit is dependent on your federal tax owed and your income.


Is the CTC a refundable credit; in other words, can I get cash back?


The CTC is a refundable and a non-refundable credit. This means that it reduces your federal taxes owed, and part of the credit can come back to you as a refund (cash back in your pocket).


Who is a qualifying child?
A qualifying child for the purpose of the CTC is a child who:
  • Is your son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister or a descendant of any of them (grandchild, niece, or nephew);
  • Was under age 17 in the tax year for which you’re claiming the CTC;
  • Did not provide more than half of his or her own support for the tax year for which you’re claiming the CTC;
  • Lived with you for more than half of the tax year for which you’re claiming the CTC;
  • Is claimed as dependent on your return;
  • Does not file a joint return for the year (or files it only as a claim for a refund); and
  • Was a U.S. citizen, a U.S. national, or a legal U.S. resident.


What are the income limits for the CTC?


Your CTC will be reduced if your gross income is more than $110,000 if married filing jointly, $75,000 for single, head of household, or qualifying widower; and $55,000 for married and filing separately.


Do I have to be a U.S. Citizen to get the CTC?


No. Legal immigrants can also get the CTC, but you have to file your taxes with a Social Security Number (valid for work) for yourself, your spouse (if you have one) and your qualifying children to get it.


Are there any asset limits for the CTC?




Where can I get my taxes done (file my taxes) for free?


There are several locations across Minnesota where you can get your taxes done for free. For AccountAbility Minnesota's free tax preparation sites click here. For other free tax preparation sites in Minnesota click here or call United Way 2-1-1 by dialing 2-1-1 (651-291-0211 for cell phone users).