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Are you eligible for the Child Tax Credit if you get Social Security or SSI?

The Child Tax Credit is one of the most widely-used forms of tax relief and can be worth thousands of dollars to eligible families.

Can Social Security recipients claim the Child Tax Credit?

Tax season has begun in the United States and roughly 168 million people are expected to file individual tax returns in the next few months. If you haven’t yet completed your tax returns, you may want to consider whether you are eligible for the various tax credits.

One of the most widely-utilised is the Child Tax Credit (CTC), which provides a tax break for families with qualifying children. Even low-income individuals not usually required to file taxes can claim the support.

If you satisfy the eligibility requirements for the CTC, you can claim the credit in addition to any Social Security or Supplemental Security Income support you receive. Furthermore, any money you receive from the CTC will not affect your eligibility for Social Security Administration (SSA) programs, because tax credits are not considered income.

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How to claim the Child Tax Credit

If you have qualifying child dependents in your household then you should be able to claim a significant tax break through the CTC. To ensure that you receive the support you need to list your children and other dependents on IRS Form 1040, the standard individual income tax return form.

Alongside that make sure to attach a completed Schedule 8812 form, which will also allow you to check if you are still owed any money from the advanced Child Tax Credit payments offered during 2021.

CTC claimants must have a child who is a tax dependent and satisfies the following criteria:

- No older than 16 at the end of last year

- A son, daughter, stepchild, eligible foster child, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, half-brother or half-sister; or a descendant of one of these

- Must not provide more than half of their financial support

- Must have lived with the claimant for at least half of the year

- They may not file a joint return with a spouse

- Must be a US citizen, nation or resident alien

Filers with an annual income above $200,000 – or $400,000 for couples who file jointly – are not eligible to receive the full support. However they may be able to claim a partial credit.

To check if you qualify for the Child Tax Credit and to calculate the size of your credit, use the IRS’ Interactive Tax Assistant online tool.


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