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After Your Child Turns 17, What Happens To The Child Tax Credit?

Once your child turns 17, they no longer qualify for the Child Tax Credit, resulting in the loss of this tax benefit for the parents.

Author:James Pierce
Reviewer:Alberto Thompson
Apr 22, 2024
Once your child turns 17, they no longer qualify for the Child Tax Credit, resulting in the loss of this tax benefit for the parents.

What is the Child Tax Credit?

The Child Tax Credit (CTC) offers financial relief to parents or guardians by reducing their tax liabilities by up to $2,000 per child under 17. This credit is designed to help cover the costs associated with raising children, and a portion of it can be refundable, potentially increasing your tax refund or lowering the amount you owe.

Can I claim my 17-year-old for child tax credit?

Curious if you can still claim child tax credit for your 17-year-old? Well, here's the deal: once they hit that age, they typically become ineligible for the credit. You don’t need to worry, though. There are some exceptions.
If your teen still qualifies as a dependent according to the IRS, you can still be eligible for other tax benefits. It's worth getting a tax professional to look into the specifics of your situation and see if you can get more tax relief.

Losing the child tax credit when your kid turns 17

Why do you lose child tax credit at age 17? It's because when they reach that age, they're considered closer to financial independence, so the eligibility for the credit ends; it becomes a bit of a surprise for many parents.

How much can the Child Tax Credit reduce your tax bill?

The Child Tax Credit can reduce your tax bill by up to $2,000 per eligible child under the age of 17. If the credit amount exceeds the taxes you owe, you can receive up to $1,400 of the excess as a refund, known as the refundable portion of the credit.
This reduction directly lowers the amount of federal tax you are required to pay, potentially leading to significant savings on your annual tax return. This feature makes the CTC an important element in financial planning for families with young children.

Are there other tax benefits for parents of older dependents?

Yes, while the CTC ends, other tax benefits become available, such as:
  • Credit for Other Dependents: This benefit provides financial relief for parents of dependents aged 17 and older.
  • Education Credits: For parents with college-going children, the American Opportunity Credit and Lifetime Learning Credit offer opportunities to save on taxes related to educational expenses.

What are common misconceptions about the Child Tax Credit?

  • Age Limit Misunderstanding: Some believe the CTC is available for children of all ages, whereas it only applies to children under 17.
  • Eligibility Confusion: Not all taxpayers qualify for the full CTC amount as the credit phases out at higher income levels. Moreover, the CTC is partially refundable up to $1,400, which means it can provide a refund beyond your tax liability.

Why is it important to review your tax situation annually?

Frequent changes in tax laws and personal circumstances necessitate annual reviews of your tax situation. This proactive approach ensures you’re maximizing your tax benefits according to the latest regulations and your current financial status.
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James Pierce

James Pierce

James Pierce, a Finance and Crypto expert, brings over 15 years of experience to his writing. With a Master's degree in Finance from Harvard University, James's insightful articles and research papers have earned him recognition in the industry. His expertise spans financial markets and digital currencies, making him a trusted source for analysis and commentary. James seamlessly integrates his passion for travel into his work, providing readers with a unique perspective on global finance and the digital economy. Outside of writing, James enjoys photography, hiking, and exploring local cuisines during his travels.
Alberto Thompson

Alberto Thompson

Alberto Thompson is an acclaimed journalist, sports enthusiast, and economics aficionado renowned for his expertise and trustworthiness. Holding a Bachelor's degree in Journalism and Economics from Columbia University, Alberto brings over 15 years of media experience to his work, delivering insights that are both deep and accurate. Outside of his professional pursuits, Alberto enjoys exploring the outdoors, indulging in sports, and immersing himself in literature. His dedication to providing informed perspectives and fostering meaningful discourse underscores his passion for journalism, sports, and economics. Alberto Thompson continues to make a significant impact in these fields, leaving an indelible mark through his commitment and expertise.
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