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Age-Limited Child Tax Deductions – Did You Know?

Several key tax credits end when a dependent child reaches a specified age. Here is a quick summary of the age rules for three of the most important tax credits for parents, as well as the most important exceptions:

Child and Dependent Care Credit: Child must be under 13 years of age (12 years old or younger), OR live with you more than half the year and be incapable of self-care.

Child Tax Credit (also called “Per-Child Credit”): Child must be under 17 years of age (16 years old or younger), no exceptions.

Qualifying Child for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC): Child must be under 19 years of age (18 years old or younger), OR a full-time student and under 24 years of age (23 years old or younger).

For both the Child Tax Credit and the Qualifying Child for EITC rule, the child must meet the age requirement at the end of the tax year (usually, December 31). However, for the Child and Dependent Care Credit, the child only has to be below the age limit when the care is provided.

If you will lose a tax credit this year due to a child surpassing the age limit, you may need to adjust your withholding to allow for the likely increase to your total tax for the year. A qualified tax advisor can help you determine whether an adjustment is needed.

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