What Mom should be paid
Big Oil bracing for tax battle

Child tax credit pays off in refunds
By the Numbers: 17.8 million

Uncle Sam gives moms an early Mother's Day gift every year in the form of the child tax credit.

For the 2010 fiscal year, Internal Revenue Service data shows that almost 15 percent of the individual tax refunds issued were attributable in part to the refundable portion of this popular tax break.

The exact number, and this week's By the Numbers figure, is:

17-plus million child tax credit refunds

The basic child tax credit is not hard to claim. Just list your qualifying children on your tax return and as long as your income doesn't exceed $75,000 (or $110,000 for married taxpayers filing a joint return; $55,000 for married taxpayers filing a separate return), you'll get to claim the full $1,000 per child.

But if your tax bill is less than your child tax credit, you lose some of the credit's value. It can only zero out your tax bill unless you qualify for the additional child tax credit.

The additional child tax credit requires some extra work, notably a worksheet and Form 8812. But when the numbers are run, you could get a refund.

And I suspect that most parents won't complain about the added calculations as long as they get money back from the IRS.

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