2018 Family Tax Credits Guide

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The Family Tax Benefit is an initiative that allows low-income families to raise their children without the fear of facing financial issues. There have been plenty of changes in 2018 to previously standing tax laws and regulations. With these changes come both positive and negative attributes. The House and Senate essentially doubled the tax credit awarded per child than the previous year. However, many other changes significantly alter the impact of this family tax break. It is important to educate yourself on the newest tax laws so that you file your tax returns properly and get all you are owed back. 

Here is all you need to know about the new child tax credit laws.

The New Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

According to the new Tax Credit and Jobs Act, the new child tax credit will be increased from $1,000 to $1,600 per child. However, the maximum refundable amount remains limited to the current level of $1,000. The good news is that this maximum refundable amount is now tied to the CPI (chained consumer price). This means this limit will rise as prices increase over time until it caps out at $1,600 overtime.

The same bill also adds an additional $300 tax credit for dependent parents or any other non-child dependent. Interestingly, the bill does not include any regulations about when the child was born. Even if your child was born on December 31st, you can still avail credit for the entire year.

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What Is Child Tax Credit?

CTC is an important part of Family Tax Credit. The previously mentioned tax credit per child allows you to claim up to a $1,600 reduction on your taxes. However, the actual reduction amount varies based on your income. More simply put, this is not a deduction but more of a credit. The amount you owe the IRS is reduced, but if the credit exceeds what you owe, you will not be able to claim a refund on the remaining amount.

Who Is Eligible for Child Tax Credit 2018?

Not all families and parents can avail of the CTC. Married couples can avail themselves of the credit if their combined annual gross income is around $230,000. For parents filing separately, it should be about $55,000. For a single parent, the yearly total income limit is $115,000.

Moving on from the income limitation, the child should also fulfill the following criteria.

  • The child should be under the age of 17. Any child who turns 18 is not eligible for CTC, even if the birthday falls on the last day of that year.
  • The child must be claimed as a dependent on the tax return form.
  • The child must not be a contributor to the overall income of the household.
  • If the child has provided over half of their support for the year, they aren’t eligible. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

The Additional Child Tax Credit

While CTC is non-refundable, there is a part of it that can be refunded now. This part is merged with the CTC and called the Additional Child Tax Credit. Families can be eligible for this tax credit even if they do not owe the IRS anything. However, there must be some earned income in the form of salary, wages, or also tips. The refundable portion is around 15% of the total earned income.

While the family tax credit changes aren’t too bad, the new code has made the whole process more complicated. The credit can be claimed through Federal form 1040, 1040NR, or federal form 1040N. It cannot be filed through form 1040 EZ. Again, the best piece of advice is simply to educate yourself completely.

The new tax credits will remain in place until 2025.

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