Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

Child Tax Credit (CTC) vs Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC)

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  • #4153186 Reply

    IGMR Admin

    Clearing things up, or trying to…

    The difference between the EITC and child credits: In a nutshell, the EITC is not “related” to the CTC. But the CTC is related to the ACTC (additional child tax credit). They are each calculated differently and not all of them are refundable.

    The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a refundable tax credit based on income, which as the name implies is based on “Earned Income”. Note that there are different types of income and not all, for example Social Security income, is considered earned. Both individuals with and without children qualify for this credit, however there is a maximum income to receive the EITC and the amount of the credit increases based on the number of dependents. There are rules to determine who qualifies as a dependent: https://igotmyrefund.com/earned-income-tax-credit-qualifying-child-rules/ The guidelines for a qualifying child are generally easy to understand, but in some cases, for example in a divorce, custody rules for EITC can be confusing – and oftentimes debatable between parents.

    So, the actual amount of the credit will depend on your earned income (these limits change each year and whether you have qualified dependents. Here are the 2016 limits: https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/individuals/earned-income-tax-credit/eitc-income-limits-maximum-credit-amounts)

    The Child Tax Credit (CTC) is called a “partially” refundable tax credit, you must have a qualified dependent (age limits are different than the EITC); however the amount is up to $1000 for each dependent. It can be claimed only if you have a child, different from the EITC in that regard. How this credit works is that it can reduce a tax liability (say you end up owing 300), claiming the CTC will reduce that amount to zero. It is related to, but often confused with the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC).

    The Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) is refundable like the EITC, but unlike the CTC. It is the refundable portion of the CTC so to speak. The ACTC amount is related to the CTC in that it is calculated when you claim the CTC, hence the name “additional” child tax credit and the difference is the portion refundable. There are income minimums (set each year) and is calculated differently if you have 3 or more dependents. Essentially, the ACTC reduces the portion of CTC that is refundable.

    [email protected], please share if the question arises again and correct me if I’m wrong. I’m not a tax professional and always recommend seeking the advice of one or plugging your numbers in to one of the companies like TurboTax who will auto-magically (lol) calculate everything for you. @april – thanks for the correction about CTC qualifying children.

    Here is more information:

    There is a limit on the amount of the ACTC based on the number of children you have calculated on Schedule 8812. —- again, same reason I use TurboTax every year, it all gets calculated auto-magically. I love saying auto-magically.

    Refunds are ONLY being delayed for tax returns that claimed EITC and/or ACTC.

    And then here is the PATH act info:



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  • #4221920 Reply


    I filed Feb. 4th, accepted the 5th. I just checked where’s my refund and I’ve been approved with a mail out date of feb. 26(paper check). Just to confirm I was an Eitc filer. Everyone should be updated this morning. Uh, what a relief!

    #4221370 Reply


    Hey everyone!

    I filed 1/26/2018, and got accepted the same day. Got our Ohio state refund by Feb 5th. Had PATH message on WheresMyRefund until today. Now just says it’s being processed. Waiting and waiting.. just like every year.

    #4155918 Reply


    Claiming just CTC will not be impacted by the delay. CTC is a nonrefundable credit that just reduces you tax liability. ACTC and EIC are refundable credits that can actually boost someone’s return by more than they even paid in.

    #4155899 Reply

    Darryl Morris


    I called the IRS, and they said that the CTC and ACTC are all inclusive and both will be held until the 15th. She didnt sound too sure. I take it from what you said and from what I have read the CTC and ACTC are different. So just the “normal” CTC, does it hold up your refund?

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