Child Tax Credit Requirements And Steps On Claiming Child Tax Credits For 2023

Child Tax Credit Requirements And Steps On Claiming Child Tax Credits For 2023

March 7, 2023

Those who qualify for the child credit must meet certain requirements and have their income below a certain limit. Those who exceed the ceiling will have their credit reduced in increments.


The child tax credit, also known as the CTC, entitles parents and guardians to a tax benefit for each dependent qualifying child. Its maximum amount is a maximum of $2,000 per child under the age of 17, with up to $1,400 refundable. However, the child tax credit is not available to every family. It’s typically limited to families with adjusted gross income below a certain threshold.

Income Requirements

The child tax credit is worth a maximum of $2,000 per qualifying dependent child, if your modified adjusted gross income is less than $200,000 individually or $400,000 jointly. If your MAGI exceeds these limits, the credit will begin to phase out and eventually be worth nothing. The amount of the child tax credit can vary depending on your family’s income level and whether you are married filing a joint return or single. In addition, the credit is partially refundable; you may receive a refund if your income exceeds the full amount you claim. For 2023, the federal government has temporarily increased the child tax credit to $3,600 per qualifying child. However, Congress has decided not to extend this expansion.

Filing Requirements

Generally, there are seven “tests” that you and your qualifying children must pass to claim the CTC. These include age, relationship, dependent status, residency, financial support, citizenship, and income. In addition, family income tests were changed for 2021 to make more families eligible for more of the credit. The maximum amount of the CTC was increased from $2,000 per qualifying child to $3,600. The maximum credit is fully refundable and can reduce your taxes on a dollar-for-dollar basis. However, it can’t be claimed if your modified adjusted gross income exceeds certain limits. These limits depend on your marital status and whether you are single or married filing jointly.

Advance Payment Options

If you aren’t filing a tax return, you may be eligible for the Child Tax Credit through advance payments. These are similar to the stimulus checks that were sent to qualifying families in 2020. Families who qualify for advance payments will receive a letter from the IRS indicating how many monthly CTC payments they received and how many children in their household were eligible to receive them. They should keep the letter because it will have important information for filing their 2022 tax returns. The American Rescue Plan that was passed in March upped the maximum CTC to $3,600 for qualifying children under 6 and $3,000 for children ages 6 through 17 and gave families more options on how to claim it. 

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