January 29, 2004
Help for Child Tax Credit
Available on IRS.gov
WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service today reminded taxpayers claiming the Child Tax Credit that they cannot claim the full $1,000 per child if they received an advance payment check last year. When figuring the credit, they must subtract the amount they got in advance. Failure to do so will reduce and could delay the tax refund claimed.
Taxpayers can get the amount of their advance Child Tax Credit payment by visiting IRS.gov. Information is available by clicking on “1040 Central” or “Your 2003 Advance Child Tax Credit.”
Taxpayers must put the amount of their advance payment check on line 2 of their Child Tax Credit Worksheet. Taxpayers use this worksheet, found in the instructions for Forms 1040 and 1040A or in IRS Publication 972, to figure the amount of credit they can claim on their 2003 tax returns.
Taxpayers can find their advance payment amount on IRS Notice 1319, which they should have received just before the payment checks. Those who do not have this notice can get the amount through IRS.gov or by calling the toll-free IRS help line, 1-800-829-1040.
Last year’s payments were an advance on the credit’s increase for 2003, when the maximum per-child amount rose from $600 to $1,000. Taxpayers will subtract the advance payment they already received from their $1,000-per-child total, then figure the remaining amount of credit, if any, to claim on the tax return.
Taxpayers claiming the Child Tax Credit who did not receive an advance payment will get their entire benefit from the credit on their returns. Taxpayers whose advance payment was larger than the amount of their credit will not have to repay the difference and will not claim any Child Tax Credit on their 2003 returns.
If the advance payment was reduced because of past-due taxes or certain non-tax debts, the taxpayer must use the full advance amount – before offset – in the worksheet. This is because the person received the benefit of the advance payment amount that was used to pay the past-due amount.
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