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Child Tax Credits

What is the Child Tax Credit?

The Child Tax Credit is a way for people with children to pay less taxes and get money back from the IRS.

How much money can I get?

You can get up to $1,000 per child.

Do I qualify for the Child Tax Credit?

To qualify for the Child Tax Credit, you must have had a child under age 17 living with you for more than half of 2014.

The child can be your own child or another child who is related to you, such as a brother or sister, niece, nephew, stepchild, or a foster child.

I am not a U.S. citizen. Can I still get the Child Tax Credit?

If you qualify for the credit but you are not a US citizen, you can still get these credits if you and the child both have valid Social Security Numbers or Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs).

Will the money I get count against my public benefits? 

No. It will not count against welfare, SNAP/Food Stamps, SSI, Medicaid, or public housing. But some benefits programs may have rules about how long you can keep it in your bank account without spending it. 

Can I get free help filing my taxes and getting the money for these credits?

Yes. Search by zip code or the name of your town for a tax clinic near you that can help you fill out all the paperwork for free.or call 1-800-829-1040.

What if I file my tax return late?

You should be able to get the credit even if you file late, but in some cases you may have to pay a penalty for filing late.  If you can not file your tax return by April 15, 2014, talk to a tax preparer to find out what to do.  You can talk to one for free at a tax clinic near you.

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Last Updated March 2015

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