Taxpayers claiming the tax credit face several tests to be eligible. The main areas are age, relationship, support, dependant, joint return, citizenship and resident tests.
If the child was younger than 17 on Dec. 31, 2012, the first hurdle has been jumped.
Next comes the relationship test, which features a number of relatives and exceptions.
“The child must be your son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, stepbrother, or stepsister," according to the IRS. "A child may also be a descendant of any of these individuals, including your grandchild, niece or nephew. You would always treat an adopted child as your own child. An adopted child includes a child lawfully placed with you for legal adoption."
The child claimed must have relied on the taxpayer for more than 50 percent of support over the tax year.
The child must be eligible to be named as a dependent on your tax return.
Unless the child is filing for a tax refund, he/she cannot file a federal tax return to be claimed for credit.
The child must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national or U.S. resident alien.
With some exceptions, the child must have lived with the taxpayer for more than half of 2012.
For more information about the Child Tax Credit, study IRS Publication 972.