Child Related Tax Benefits Comparison

Our handy chart shows some of the basic eligibility requirements for tax benefits available to those with a qualifying child in 2014.

Warning:  This chart is for quick comparison only. Each listed benefit has other requirements. This at-a-glance guide also directs you to more information to see who qualifies.

Download a printable version of our Child-Related Tax Benefits Chart in Adobe (pdf format) 

Download a printable version of our Child-Related Tax Benefits Chart in Word (doc format)

Criteria Earned Income Tax Credit

Dependency Exemption

Child Tax Credit

Head of Household

Child and Dependent Care Credit

 Age

Child must be:
 

• Younger than
   you (or your
   spouse if filing
   a joint return)
   and under age
   19 at end of
   2014
 

• Younger than
   you (or your
   spouse if filing
   a joint return),
   under age 24
   at the end of
   2014 and
   a full time
   student
 

• Any age if
  permanently
  and totally
  disabled

Child must be: 
 

• Younger than
   you (or your
   spouse if filing
   a joint return)
   and under age
   19 at end of
   2014  
 

• Younger than
   you (or your
   spouse if filing
   a joint return),
   under age 24
   at the end of
   2014 and
   a full time
   student
 

• Any age if
  permanently
  and totally
  disabled 

Child must be younger than you (or your spouse if filing a joint return) and under age 17 at the end of 2014

 

 

Child must be:
 

 • Younger than
   you (or your
   spouse if filing
   a joint return)
   and under age
   19 at end of
   2014
 

 • Younger than
   you (or your
   spouse if filing
   a joint return),
   under age 24
   at the end of
   2014 and
   a full time
   student
 

• Any age if
  permanently
  and totally
  disabled 

Child must be:

Younger than you (or your spouse if filing a joint return)

And

Under age 13 for the days  the care was provided during  2014

 

 

 Child's Relationship Child must be your:

• son
• daughter
• stepson
• stepdaughter
• adopted child*
• foster child**
• brother
• sister
• half brother
• half sister
• stepbrother
• stepsister
• or a 
  descendent
  of any of
  them
Child must be your:

• son
• daughter
• stepson
• stepdaughter
• adopted child*
• 
 foster child**
brother
• sister
• half brother
• half sister
• stepbrother
• stepsister
• or a
  descendent
  of any of
  them
Child must be your:

• son
• daughter
• stepson
• stepdaughter
• adopted child*
foster child**
brother
• sister
• half brother
• half sister
• stepbrother
• stepsister
• or a
  descendent
  of any of
  them
Child must be your:

• son
• daughter
• stepson
• stepdaughter
• adopted child*
• foster child**
• brother
• sister
• half brother
• half sister
• stepbrother
• stepsister
• or a
  descendent
  of any of
  them
Child must be your:

• son
• daughter
• stepson
• stepdaughter
• adopted child*
• foster child**
• brother
• sister
• half brother
• half sister
• stepbrother
• stepsister
• or a
  descendent
  of any of
  them
Can You Claim Without Qualifying Child? Yes, see rules for claiming without a qualifying child Yes, see rules for qualifying relative  No Yes, see rules for dependents who are not a qualifying child Yes, see rules for qualifying persons
 Residency

Child must have lived with you in the U.S. for more than half of 2014
 

Exceptions:
• Temporary
  absence
• Serving in
  military
  overseas
• Birth or
  death of
  child
• Kidnapped
  child

Child must have lived with you for more than half of 2014
 

Exceptions:

• Temporary
  absence
• Birth or
  death of
  child
• Kidnapped
  child
• Divorced or
  separated
  parents or
  parents
  who
  live apart

Child must have lived with you for more than half of 2014
 

Exceptions:

• Temporary
  absence
• Birth or
  death
  of child
• Kidnapped
  child
• Divorced or
  separated
  parents or
  parents
  who
  live apart 

Child must lived with you for more than half of 2014
 

Exceptions:

• Temporary
   absence
• Birth or
  death of
  child
• Kidnapped
  child

Child must have lived with you for more than half of 2014 
 

Exceptions:

• Temporary
   absence
• Birth or
  death
  of  child

 

 

 Support None. But, if the child is married, generally, you must be entitled to a dependency exemption for the child. Child must not provide over half of own support for 2014 but see rules for divorced or separated parents or parents who live apart. Child must not provide over half of own support for 2014 but see rules for divorced or separated parents or parents who live apart. Child must not provide over half of own support for 2014. Also, see rules for providing over half the cost of maintaining the household. Child must not provide over half of own support for 2014 but see rule allowing the custodial parent to claim the credit.
Child Must Have SSN (Not ATIN or ITIN Yes and the SSN must be valid for employment No No No No
Child must be U.S. Citizen, U.S. National or U.S. Resident N/A but see residency and child must have a SSN that is valid for employment N/A see next row

Yes. Child must:

• Meet the
  substantial
  presence test

 or

• Be admitted
  for lawful
  permanent
  residence

 or

• Make a first-
  year election

N/A see next row N/A see next row
Child must be U.S. Citizen, U.S. National, U.S. Resident or Resident of Canada or Mexico** N/A but see residency and child must have a SSN that is valid for employment Yes N/A see previous row Yes Yes
Noncustodial Parent Claim Using the Special Rule for Divorced or Separated Parents or Parents who Live Apart No, the rule does not apply  Yes Yes No, the rules does not apply  No, only the custodial parent can claim the credit 
Can Disabled Child be Any Age?  Yes Yes  No  Yes  Not as a qualifying child but see qualifying persons 

References:

Publication and Form Links

Publication 596, Earned Income Credit
 

Publication 596 (SP), Crédito por Ingreso del Trabajo
 

Schedule EIC


Form 8862 if EITC previously disallowed
 

Form 8862 (SP), if EITC previously disallowed, Spanish Version
 

Must show name and Social Security Number on Schedule EIC

Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction and Filing Information
 


Publication 17 (SP) (PDF), El Impuesto Federal sobre los Ingresos
 

Must show name and identification number on tax return

Publication 972, Child Tax Credit
 

Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens
 


Publication 17 (SP) (PDF), El Impuesto Federal sobre los Ingresos
 

Must be listed as dependent on return

Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction and Filing Information
 


Publication 17 (SP) (PDF), El Impuesto Federal sobre los Ingresos
 

No, but if child isn't dependent, name must be on tax return

Publication 503, Child and Dependent Care
 


Publication 17 (SP) (PDF), El Impuesto Federal sobre los Ingresos
 


Form 2441
 

Form 2441 Instructions


*Adopted Child includes a child lawfully placed with you for legal adoption.

**Foster child is a child placed with you by an authorized placement agency or by judgment, decree, or other order of any court of competent jurisdiction. An authorized placement agency includes a state or local government agency or an Indian tribal government. It also includes a tax-exempt organization licensed by a state or an Indian tribal government. 

***An exception applies for an adopted child if you are a citizen or national of the United States, and if for the tax year, the child has the same main home as the taxpayer and is a member of your household.

Download a printable version of our Child-Related Tax Benefits Chart in Adobe (pdf format) 

Download a printable version of our Child-Related Tax Benefits Chart in Word (doc format)

 

Return to Top of Page

 

 

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 05-Dec-2014