Monthly Archives: April 2015

The Child Tax Credit

Child Tax Credit and The LawTop Six Things You Should Know about The Child Tax Credit

The Child Tax Credit may save you money at tax-time if you have a qualified child. Here are six things you should know about the credit.

  1. Amount. The Child Tax Credit may help reduce your federal income tax by up to $1,000 for each qualifying child that you are eligible to claim on your tax return.
  2. Additional Child Tax Credit. If you qualify and get less than the full Child Tax Credit, you could receive a refund even if you owe no tax with the Additional Child Tax Credit.
  3. Qualifications. For this credit, a qualifying child must pass several tests:
    Age test. The child must have been under age 17 at the end of 2014.
    Relationship test. The child must be your son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, stepbrother, or stepsister. The child may be a descendant of any of these individuals. A qualifying child could also include your grandchild, niece or nephew. You would always treat an adopted child as your own child. An adopted child includes a child lawfully placed with you for legal adoption.
    Support test. The child must not have provided more than half of their own support for the year.
    Dependent test. The child must be a dependent that you claim on your federal tax return.
    Joint return test. The child cannot file a joint return for the year, unless the only reason they are filing is to claim a refund.
    Citizenship test. The child must be a U.S. citizen, a U.S. national or a U.S. resident alien.
    Residence test. In most cases, the child must have lived with you for more than half of 2014.
  1. Limitations. The Child Tax Credit is subject to income limitations. The limits may reduce or eliminate your credit depending on your filing status and income.

5.Schedule 8812. If you qualify to claim the Child Tax Credit, make sure to check whether you must complete and attach Schedule 8812, Child Tax Credit, with your tax return. For example, if you claim a credit for a child with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, you must complete Part I of Schedule 8812. If you qualify to claim the Additional Child Tax Credit, you must complete and attach Schedule 8812. Visit to view, download or print IRS tax forms anytime.

  1. IRS E-file. Electronic filing is the best way to file your tax return. IRS E-file is the safe, accurate and easiest way to file. If you use IRS Free File, you can prepare and e-file your taxes for free. Go to and review your options.

You can use the Interactive Tax Assistant tool on to see if you can claim the credit.

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Scariest Tax Errors – Forbes

CAUTION Audit Alert SignIf you aren’t using a professional tax preparer – you might want to reconsider that decision after reading this post and the articles it links to.  If you needed a reason why you would want to use a professional tax preparer – this is just what you need. If  you know someone who needs a little convincing – send a link to this post.

Let’s start with a great article in Forbes that begins, “Before you file your taxes, consider how long you must look over your shoulder.” (That’s sort of chilling, don’t you think?) They add that tax lawyers and accountants are used to monitoring the duration of their clients’ audit exposure – and so should you.  (Now really … is that something you want to do – or wouldn’t you prefer a tax professional who knows how the IRS functions?)  Here’s the article “The Scariest Tax Errors, They Extend IRS Audits To Six Years Or Endlessly.”

Compound the above with the fact that the Commissioner of the IRS publicly thanked tax preparers for “surviving a very challenging tax season“, and if he thought the season was *challenging* it’s not because it’s easy.   Safe to say the tax code is not going to get easier – so unless you have nerves of steel, do yourself a favor and research professional preparers and go talk to them.

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