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How to Claim the IRS Child Tax Credit


Place the completed child tax credit form (972) with your appropriate IRS filing. Most of these forms get filed along with your 1040, 1040NR or 1040A tax forms. In some case you will attach it to a 2555, 2555-EZ or 4563 form, which relates to foreign income from either Puerto Rico or American Samoa.


Know the monetary restrictions set up by the IRS. You can only claim up to $1,000 for each qualifying child you claim for the tax credit.


Figure out your earned income to claim the tax credit. You can enlist the worksheet on the child tax credit form number 972 to aid your calculations. Include your taxable earned income and your nontaxable combat wages.


Fill out the proper worksheet for you filing status. Keep copies of anything you send to the IRS or file online for your records.


Decide on your filing status before you complete the tax credit form. You will need to know if you are filing jointly or as an individual. Your adjusted gross income (AGI) will impact the tax credit.


Obtain the IRS 972 form by visiting your local office or at the IRS website (see Resources below). You can also request the child tax credit form by calling an IRS customer service representative at 1-800-829-1040.

Tips and Warnings

  • Have the social security numbers for each child for which you want to claim a tax credit. This is termed an "identification number" on the 1040 forms. Which form you will fill out depends on your personal financial situation.
  • If you encounter any recurring problems filing a child tax credit, consider enlisting a taxpayer advocate, which is available through the IRS. You can set up this service or simply see if they can help with a current problem or need by calling them at 1-877-777-4778.

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