What is a child tax credit?
(Revised November 2015)

If you claim exemptions for children under age seventeen, you will be entitled to tax credits (as a direct offset against income taxes) of $1,000 per child on your 2015 Federal income tax return.  To be entitled to this credit the child being claimed has to be less than 17 years old on December 31st. For example, if the child's seveteenth birthday is on December 31st, you lose the credit on that child even though he or she was 16 almost all of the year.

The child tax credits will phase out as annual income exceeds $110,000 for married taxpayers filing a joint income tax return and $55,000 if the filing status is married filing separately. For all other taxpayers, the credit will phase out when annual income exceeds $75,000. 

New for 2015, the child tax credit can only be used against your tax liability. I the credit exceeds your tax liability you cannot claim the excess as a refund.

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