The child tax credit is worth up to $1,000 for each qualifying child under the age 17 that can be claimed as one of your dependents. Depending on your AGI (adjusted gross income) the child tax credit is phased out. The case of actually be refunding an amount of the credit that exceeds your tax liability is what’s referred to as the additional child tax credit, which obviously doesn’t mean additional children.
A qualifying child for the tax credit is:
- Your son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister
- Was under 17 by end of 2011
- Did not provide over half of his or her own support for 2011
- Lived with you for more than half of 2011 Is claimed as a dependent on your return
- Was a US citizen, a US national, or a resident of the united states
There are some exceptions to the part about having to have lived with you for more than half of the year. Temporary time spent away for special situations like for school, a vacation, medical care, military service, detention in a juvenile facility count as time spent with you.
You will have a reduced child tax credit if the amount on line 46 of form 1040 or line 28 of the 1040a is less than the credit. If this amount is zero then you cannot take this credit because there is no tax to reduce. But this might mean that you qualify for the additional child tax credit.