1040-US: Qualifying child for the Child Tax Credit

Alerts and notices

Question

What constitutes a qualifying child for the Child Tax Credit?

Answer

A qualifying child must meet all of the following criteria.

  • The child has lived with you at the same principal residence for more than half of the tax year.
  • The child was under age 17 at the end of the tax year.
  • The child has not provided more than one-half of their own support for the year.
  • The child is the taxpayer's son, daughter, adopted child, grandchild, stepchild, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant of the taxpayer's brother, sister, stepbrother or stepsister (for example, niece or nephew), or a foster child.
  • The child is a U.S. citizen, U.S. National, or resident of the U.S.
  • The child is younger than you.
  • The child does not file a joint return (other than a joint return filed solely to get a refund).
  • You must claim a dependency exemption for the child.

Related topic: Child and dependent care / child tax credits FAQs (1040)