Federal Publication 972: Child Tax Credit (Superseded by Schedule 8812)

Publication 972, issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), was a helpful resource for taxpayers claiming the Child Tax Credit (CTC) on their tax returns. It explained the qualifications for the credit, how to calculate the amount, and how to claim it on your tax forms. However, it's important to note that Publication 972 is no longer in use for tax years 2021 and beyond.

Why is it no longer used?

The IRS has streamlined the process for claiming the CTC by incorporating the relevant information from Publication 972 into Schedule 8812, Credit for Qualifying Children and Other Dependents. This means you'll use Schedule 8812 along with Form 1040 to determine your Child Tax Credit amount for tax year 2023 and onward.

What was the purpose of the Child Tax Credit?

The Child Tax Credit is a tax credit designed to help offset the costs of raising children. It reduces the amount of federal income tax you owe. Publication 972 explained the details of this credit, making it easier for taxpayers to understand their eligibility and claim the maximum benefit.

Who is eligible for the Child Tax Credit?

To claim the Child Tax Credit, you must meet all the following conditions:

  • You must be the parent or legal guardian of a qualifying child.
  • Your child must be under the age of 17 at the end of the tax year.
  • Your child must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. resident alien, or U.S. national.
  • Your child must have lived with you for more than half of the tax year (exceptions apply for special circumstances).
  • You must claim your child as a dependent on your tax return.

How much is the Child Tax Credit worth?

The amount of the Child Tax Credit for tax year 2023 is currently $2,000 per qualifying child. However, the credit amount you receive may be reduced based on your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI).

How do I claim the Child Tax Credit?

While Publication 972 is no longer used, you can claim the Child Tax Credit by completing Schedule 8812 and attaching it to your Form 1040 when you file your tax return. The instructions for Schedule 8812 will guide you through the calculation process.

What if I received advance Child Tax Credit payments in 2021?

The tax laws changed for tax year 2021, allowing eligible taxpayers to receive half of their estimated Child Tax Credit in advance monthly payments. These advance payments are no longer available in 2023. If you received them in 2021, you will need to reconcile them when you file your tax return. You will receive Form 1099-CTC from the IRS that shows the total amount of advance payments you received.