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George Saenz, the Bankrate.com Tax Talk columnist 2 children, 1 tax credit

Dear Tax Talk,
I have two children that are my dependents but my tax program is only giving me the $1,000 credit for one of them. What's wrong?
-- Mandy

Dear Mandy,
There are various rules that affect the child tax credit reported on line 53 of your Form 1040. The maximum amount you can claim for the credit is $1,000 for each qualifying child.

A qualifying child, for purposes of the child tax credit is a child who:

1. Is your son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant of any of them (for example, your grandchild, niece or nephew).
2. Was under age 17 at the end of 2006.
3. Did not provide over half of his or her own support for 2006.
4. Lived with you for more than half of 2006.
5. Was a U.S. citizen, a U.S. national or a resident of the United States.

If one of your kids turned 17 in 2006, this could be the reason you're not getting the credit. In addition, if your income exceeds a certain threshold, your credit is reduced or eliminated. The reduction occurs when your modified adjusted gross income, or AGI, is in excess of the amount shown below for your filing status.

a. Married filing jointly -- $110,000.
b. Single, head of household or qualifying widow(er) -- $75,000.
c. Married filing separately -- $55,000.

Also, if your tax (line 46 of Form 1040) is less than the credit, you will not get the full $1,000 credit.

If these aren't the reasons for the reduction of the credit, double-check your input into the software.

Bankrate.com's corrections policy-- Posted: April 13, 2007
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