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 What's to complain about?

They doubled the child tax credit for "the little guy", and made it easier for rich guys to qualify too.

If you have children under the age of 17, you are probably familiar with the child tax credit. For the most part, the new law improves and expands the credit, and dramatically raises the AGI limits at which the credit begins to phase-out. Below is a brief summary of the old law, and analysis of how the child credit changes under the new law.

Pre-2018 law

An individual may claim a tax credit for each qualifying child under the age of 17. The amount of the credit per child is $1,000. A child who is not a citizen, national, or resident of the United States cannot be a qualifying child.

The amount of child credits that may be claimed is phased out for individuals with income over certain threshold amounts. Specifically, the otherwise allowable child tax credit is reduced by $50 for each $1,000 of modified adjusted gross income(“AGI”) over $75,000 for single individuals or heads of households, $110,000 for married individuals filing joint returns, and $55,000 for married individuals filing separate returns.

To the extent the child credit exceeds the taxpayer’s tax liability, some portion of the excess may be refundable as the “additional child credit”.

New Law

The new law increases the child tax credit to $2,000 per qualifying child. The credit is further expanded to provide for a $500 nonrefundable credit for qualifying dependents other than qualifying children.

To the extent the child credit exceeds the taxpayer’s tax liability, up to $1,400 per qualifying child can be refundable. The $500 credit is not refundable.

A taxpayer must include on his return a Social Security number for each qualifying child for whom the credit is claimed. This requirement does not apply to a nonchild dependent for whom the $500 non-refundable credit is claimed.

(A qualifying child who is ineligible to receive the child tax credit because that child did not have a Social Security number may nonetheless qualify for the nonrefundable $500 credit as a qualifying dependent.)

Under the new law the credit begins to phase out for taxpayers with adjusted gross income in excess of $400,000 (in the case of married taxpayers filing a joint return) and $200,000 (for all other taxpayers). These phaseout thresholds are not indexed for inflation.

And finally, because budget gimmicks were so important to allowing this law to pass, everything reverts back to pre-2018 law after 2025.




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