Qualifying Child (a Dependent)

What are the tax definitions for the term: qualifying child. Find out at Paywizard.org.


Qualifying for the child tax credit mirror the rules for dependents. However there are notable differences, so please click on the next link to read the information about a qualifying child for purposes of the child tax credit.

Qualifying Child (Dependent)


  • is a son, daughter, stepchild, eligible foster child, brother, sister, half sister, half brother, stepbrother or child of them, a niece etc.
  • must be at the end of the year under the age
    • of 19
    • of 24 and a full-time student
    • any age if permanent and total disabled
    • of 17 for purposes of the child tax credit and to receive the Economic Stimulus Payment
  • must have lived with you for more than a half year this tax year, but this period could be shorter if it:
    • was born or died during this tax year
    • was a newborn who died during this tax year. You need proof of a live birth if you want to claim an exemption. You cannot claim a stillborn child.
  • must not have provided more than half of his or her own support this tax year
  • must be  a US citizen, US resident, US national or a resident of Canada or Mexico for some part of the year. A legally adopted child who is not a US citizen, resident or national could be  a qualifying child if the child lived with you as member of the household this whole tax year. If the adopted child is a member of your household for more than a half of this tax year it is only a qualifying child if it is placed in your home by an authorized adoption agency.
  • of divorced or separated parents - the general rule is that the custodial parent automatically receives the write-off, but you can allocate the exemptions in any manner in which you and your ex agree. Allowing your ex to have the child's exemption won't preclude you as the custodial parent from being able to claim head of household filing status, which is better than single filing status.