2020 Instructions for Schedule 8812 (Rev. January 2021) (2020)

2020


Additional Child Tax Credit

Introduction

Use Schedule 8812 (Form 1040) to figure the additional child tax credit (ACTC). The ACTC may give you a refund even if you do not owe any tax.

Future Developments

For the latest information about developments related to Schedule 8812 and its instructions, such as legislation enacted after they were published, go to IRS.gov/Schedule8812.

What’s New

Earned income figured for additional child tax credit.

Recent legislation for 2020 allows an election to use prior year earned income when figuring the additional child tax credit. See Line 6a, later, for more information.

Reminder

Delayed refund for returns claiming ACTC.

The IRS cannot issue refunds before mid-February 2021 for returns that properly claim the ACTC. This time frame applies to the entire refund, not just the portion associated with the ACTC.

General Instructions

.This is an Image: caution.gifIf you file Form 2555, you cannot claim the ACTC. .

Who Should Use Schedule 8812

First, complete the Child Tax Credit and Credit for Other Dependents Worksheet that applies to you. See the instructions for Form 1040 or 1040-SR, line 19, or the instructions for Form 1040-NR, line 19. If you meet the condition given in the TIP at the end of your Child Tax Credit and Credit for Other Dependents Worksheet, use Schedule 8812 to see if you can take the ACTC.

Taxpayer Identification Number Requirements

Each qualifying child must have the required social security number (SSN).

If you have a qualifying child who does not have the required SSN, you cannot use the child to claim the ACTC on either your original or an amended 2020 return. The required SSN is one that is valid for employment and is issued before the due date of your 2020 return (including extensions).

You must have a taxpayer identification number by the due date of your return.

If you, or your spouse if filing jointly, do not have an SSN or IRS individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) issued on or before the due date of your 2020 return (including extensions), you cannot claim the ACTC on either your original or an amended 2020 return.

If you apply for an ITIN on or before the due date of your 2020 return (including extensions) and the IRS issues you an ITIN as a result of the application, the IRS will consider your ITIN as issued on or before the due date of your return.

Improper Claims

If you erroneously claim the child tax credit (CTC), credit for other dependents (ODC), or ACTC, even though you are not eligible for the credit, and it is later determined that your error was due to reckless or intentional disregard of the CTC, ODC, or ACTC rules, you will not be allowed to claim any of these credits for 2 years. If it is determined that your error was due to fraud, you will not be allowed to claim any of these credits for 10 years. You may also have to pay penalties.

Form 8862 may be required.

If your CTC, ACTC, or ODC for a year after 2015 was denied or reduced for any reason other than a math or clerical error, you must attach Form 8862 to your 2020 return to claim the ACTC unless an exception applies. See Form 8862 and its instructions for more information, including whether an exception applies.

Effect of Credit on Welfare Benefits

Any refund you receive as a result of taking the ACTC cannot be counted as income when determining if you or anyone else is eligible for benefits or assistance, or how much you or anyone else can receive, under any federal program or under any state or local program financed in whole or in part with federal funds. These programs include Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly food stamps). In addition, when determining eligibility, the refund cannot be counted as a resource for at least 12 months after you receive it. Check with your local benefits coordinator to find out if your refund will affect your benefits.

Specific Instructions

Part I — All Filers

Line 6a

Earned income.

Use the Earned Income Chart, later, to determine the amount to enter on line 6a. You can also make an election to use your prior year earned income to determine the amount to enter on line 6a. See Election to use prior year earned income, next.

Election to use prior year earned income.

You may be able to use your 2019 earned income on line 6a to figure your additional child tax credit. You can make this election if your 2019 earned income was greater than your 2020 earned income. Use the Earned Income Chart, later, twice—once with 2019 amounts and once with 2020 amounts to see if your 2019 earned income is greater than your 2020 earned income.

To make this election, enter "PYEI" and the amount of your 2019 earned income in the space next to Form 1040, 1040-SR, or 1040-NR, line 28.

Line 6b

Nontaxable combat pay.

Enter on line 6b the total amount of nontaxable combat pay that you, and your spouse if filing jointly, received in 2020. This amount should be shown in Form W-2, box 12, with code Q.

If you are using 2019 earned income on line 6a, enter your 2019 nontaxable combat pay on line 6b.

Part II — Certain Filers Who Have Three or More Qualifying Children

Line 9

Additional Medicare Tax and tier 1 RRTA tax.

Use the Line 9 Worksheet to figure the amount to enter on line 9 if your employer withheld or you paid Additional Medicare Tax or tier 1 RRTA tax.

Earned Income Chart — Line 6a

IF you... AND you... THEN enter on line 6a...
have net earnings from self-employment use either optional method to figure those net earnings, the amount figured using the Earned Income Worksheet in Pub. 972 (even if you are also taking the EIC).
are taking the EIC on Form 1040 or 1040-SR, line 27, completed Worksheet B, relating to the EIC, in your Instructions for Forms 1040 and 1040-SR, your earned income from Worksheet B, line 4b, plus all of your nontaxable combat pay if you did not elect to include it in earned income for the EIC. If you were a member of the clergy, subtract (a) the rental value of a home or the nontaxable portion of an allowance for a home furnished to you (including payments for utilities) and (b) the value of meals and lodging provided to you, your spouse, and your dependents for your employer’s convenience.
did not complete Worksheet B, your earned income from Step 5 of the EIC instructions in your tax return instructions, plus all of your nontaxable combat pay if you did not elect to include it in earned income for the EIC.
are not taking the EIC were self-employed, or you are filing Schedule SE because you were a member of the clergy or you had church employee income, or you are filing Schedule C as a statutory employee, the amount figured using the Earned Income Worksheet in Pub. 972.
are not self-employed or filing Schedule SE or C for the above reasons, your earned income figured as follows:    
Line 1 of Form 1040 or 1040-SR, or line 1a of Form 1040-NR.    
  Subtract, if included on line 1 of Form 1040 or 1040-SR, or line 1a of Form 1040-NR, any:    
 
• Taxable scholarship or fellowship grant not reported on a Form W-2.
• Amount received for work performed while an inmate in a penal institution (put “PRI” and the amount subtracted in the space next to line 1 of Form 1040 or 1040-SR, or line 1a of Form 1040-NR).
• Amount received as a pension or annuity from a nonqualified deferred compensation plan or a nongovernmental section 457 plan (put “DFC” and the amount subtracted in the space next to line 1 of Form 1040 or 1040-SR, or line 1a of Form 1040-NR). This amount may be shown in box 11 of your Form W-2. If you received such an amount but box 11 is blank, contact your employer for the amount received as a pension or annuity.
• Medicaid waiver payments you excluded from income (see the instructions for Schedule 1 (Form 1040), line 8, and Pub. 525 for information about these payments), unless you choose to include this amount in earned income, in which case subtract zero.
   
     
   
   
   
      -
       
  Add all your nontaxable combat pay from Form(s) W-2, box 12, with code Q.   +
       
  Earned Income =    

Line 9 Worksheet

If your employer withheld or you paid Additional Medicare Tax or Tier 1 RRTA taxes, use this worksheet to figure the amount to enter on line 9.
Social security tax, Medicare tax, and Additional Medicare Tax on Wages.
1. Enter the social security tax withheld (Form(s) W-2, box 4) 1. _____
2. Enter the Medicare tax withheld (Form(s) W-2, box 6). Box 6 includes any Additional Medicare Tax withheld 2. _____
3. Enter any amount from Form 8959, line 7 3. _____
4. Add lines 1, 2, and 3 4. _____
5. Enter the Additional Medicare Tax withheld (Form 8959, line 22) 5. _____
6. Subtract line 5 from line 4 6. _____
Additional Medicare Tax on Self-Employment Income.
7. Enter one-half of the Additional Medicare Tax, if any, on self-employment income (one-half of Form 8959, line 13) 7. _____
Tier 1 RRTA taxes as an employee of a railroad (enter amounts on lines 8, 9, 10, and 11) or employee representative (enter amounts on lines 12, 13, 14, and 15). Do not include amounts in Form W-2, box 14, that are identified as Additional Medicare Tax or Tier 2 tax. Do not include amounts shown on Form CT-2 on line 3 for Additional Medicare Tax or line 4 for Tier 2 tax.
8. Enter the Tier 1 tax (Form(s) W-2, box 14) 8. _____
9. Enter the Medicare Tax (Form(s) W-2, box 14) 9. _____
10. Enter the Additional Medicare Tax, if any, on RRTA compensation as an employee (Form 8959, line 17). Do not use the same amount from Form 8959, line 17, for both this line 10 and line 14 10. _____
11. Add lines 8, 9, and 10 11. _____
12. Enter one-half of Tier 1 tax (one-half of Forms CT-2, line 1, for all 4 quarters of 2020) 12. _____
13. Enter one-half of Tier 1 Medicare tax (one-half of Forms CT-2, line 2, for all 4 quarters of 2020) 13. _____
14. Enter one-half of the Additional Medicare Tax, if any, on RRTA compensation as an employee representative (one-half of Form 8959, line 17). Do not use the same amount from Form 8959, line 17, for both this line 14 and line 10 14. _____
15. Add lines 12, 13, and 14 15. _____
Line 9 Amount
16. Add lines 6, 7, 11, and 15. Enter here and on Schedule 8812, line 9 16. _____