Publication 972: Child Tax Credit (2023)

Important Note: Publication 972 is no longer used for tax year 2023 and beyond. The IRS has discontinued this publication and uses Schedule 8812 (Form 1040) to calculate the Child Tax Credit. This content will provide you with information on the Child Tax Credit but will not reference Publication 972.

What is Schedule 8812?

Schedule 8812 is a form you use with your tax return (Form 1040) to claim tax credits related to your dependents. These credits can help reduce your tax liability.  There are three main credits you might be eligible for on Schedule 8812:

Child Tax Credit (CTC): This credit helps reduce your tax bill for qualifying children under the age of 17.

Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC): If your income is below a certain level, you may be eligible for a refundable portion of the CTC.

Credit for Other Dependents (ODC): This credit applies to dependents who don't meet the qualifications for the CTC but are still claimed on your tax return.

What's the Purpose of Schedule 8812?

By using Schedule 8812, you can potentially reduce your tax liability by claiming these credits. The form helps you determine your eligibility, calculate the credit amount, and claim it on your tax return (Form 1040).

Who Should Use Schedule 8812?

Use Schedule 8812 if you have qualifying dependents and want to claim any of the following credits:

  • Child Tax Credit (CTC)
  • Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC)
  • Credit for Other Dependents (ODC)

What Information Do I Need to Complete Schedule 8812?

To complete Schedule 8812, you'll need information about yourself and your dependents, including:

  • Your Social Security number (SSN)
  • Your filing status
  • Your dependents' names, SSNs, and relationship to you
  • Amount you spent on dependent care (if claiming the Child and Dependent Care Expense Credit on a separate form)
  • Information about any income your dependents earned (if applicable)

What if my child doesn't have a Social Security number?

Generally, you cannot claim the CTC or ACTC for a child who doesn't have a valid SSN issued before the tax return due date (including extensions). However, there are exceptions for children born and died in 2023. In such cases, attach a copy of the child's birth certificate, death certificate, or hospital records showing the child was born alive.

How much is the Child Tax Credit (CTC)?

The base amount of the CTC for 2023 is $2,000 per qualifying child. However, the credit amount you receive may be reduced based on your income.

How much is the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC)?

The ACTC provides an additional credit for a portion of the CTC for qualifying children ages 6 to 16. The amount of the ACTC is refundable, meaning you may receive a tax refund even if you don't owe any taxes.

How do I determine if I'm eligible for the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC)?

You can claim the ACTC if you meet the qualifications for the CTC and your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) falls below a certain threshold. The IRS provides specific income ranges for eligibility on their website

Where do I submit Schedule 8812 after completing it?

Attach the completed Schedule 8812 to your main tax return (Form 1040) when you file your taxes.