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FINANCIAL NEWS

How old do children have to be to qualify for the IRS Tax Refund?

The Child Tax Credit can be worth thousands of dollars for eligible families, provided that their tax dependents are below the age threshold.

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HANNAH MCKAYREUTERS

If you are in the process of putting together your 2022 tax returns, you should take a moment to consider any tax credits and deductions that you may be eligible for.

One of the most widely-used tax credits in the United States is the Child Tax Credit. This initiative provides a tax credit worth up to $2,000 per qualifying child to either reduce your tax bill or boost your refund.

To qualify for the Child Tax Credit for the 2022 tax year, your child dependent must have been younger than 17 at the end of last year. There is no minimum age to be eligible for the credit.

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In addition to the age threshold, there are a number of other requirements that your dependent must satisfy to receive the credit:

- Must be the filer’s son, daughter, stepchild, eligible foster child, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, half-brother, half-sister, or a descendant of one of these

- Cannot provide more than half of their own financial support

- must have lived with the filer for at least half the year

- Must be claimed as a tax dependent on your tax return

- May not file a joint return with their spouse

- Must be a US citizen, national or resident alien

To receive the full amount of $2,000 per child dependent, the filer may not have earnt more than $200,000 ($400,000 for couples who file jointly) in 2022. Filers with higher incomes may still be able to claim the credit, but they will receive a smaller amount.

How old can children be to claim the EITC?

Unlike the Child Tax Credit the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is not specifically designed to support families with children, but it does offer an increased credit size for households with child dependents. The EITC helps low- and middle-earning households with an annual tax credit to be claimed on the recipient’s tax return.

The age limits to be a qualifying child dependent for the EITC are also different, with two different thresholds depending on your situation.

Normally, your child dependent has to be aged younger than 19 at the end of the year (and younger than the filer) to be eligible for the EITC.

However if your child dependent is a full-time student (or has been for at least five months of the year) then the threshold is upped to allow those aged younger than 24 to be eligible. This is essentially to allow college students to be considered a child dependent while they complete their studies.