Can I claim my children in Mexico for taxes?

Since the launch of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act (also known as TCJA) there have been several relevant changes, especially when we talk about the Internal Revenue Code. And it is that, thanks to its enactment, now the citizens or residents of the United States can make certain claims and benefit from some personal exemptions that could reduce your tax bill.

In fact, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act greatly reduced most statutory tax rates, while also providing a personal exemption for dependents and a child tax credit. Perhaps at this moment you ask yourself a very important question: “Can I claim my children in Mexico for taxes?”. The short answer wanders between a “yes” and a “no”. Let’s see how this tax credit works in the case of immigrants.

Can I claim my children in Mexico for taxes?

Can I claim my children in Mexico for taxes?

With the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, a special exemption was allowed to benefit taxpayers in the United States. In this case, the exemption could be claimed for qualified dependents regardless of their place of residence or nationality. Therefore, a taxpayer in the United States could claim his son, even if he lived in Mexico. Why? Well, because -in that case- the credit was not reimbursable.

However, the current amount of this exemption has increased from $0 reimbursement to $1,400. Does this mean that now you cannot claim your children in Mexico for taxes? Not necessarily. By doing so, you may be eligible for other benefits.

Tip: If you want to register your children as dependents and they do not live in the country, you can only do so if they have a Social Security Number or if you request an ITIN number for them.

Keep reading: Where to do FREE taxes?

In the year 2018, child tax credit increased to a maximum of $2,000 for each qualifying child. In this case, the taxpayer can receive up to a $1,400 credit as a refund. However, to qualify for this credit, the taxpayer must have a child who:

  • Be US citizen
  • It has been naturalized like like american
  • Be a resident alien in the U.S

Therefore, you will not be able to claim the Child Tax Credit if your children live in Mexico. To be able to do it, the children need to live with you in the United States and have their own valid SSN. It could also happen that the children live more than half of the tax year with you and are resident foreigners with an ITIN or SSN number. If this is the case, you can claim them, even if they are now in Mexico.

Can I claim my children in Mexico for state taxes?

Yes and no. Really, this will depend on the city or county you live in. Many states across the country have not adopted the new changes in the latest Tax Cuts & Jobs Act. For example, California resident aliens may claim an exemption for a qualifying dependent living in Mexico without any problem.

Therefore, the first thing you should do is find out if your state allows the claim of dependent children -regardless of their nationality or country of residence- in state taxes. In addition, we advise you to ensure that you comply with certain conditions, such as:

  • That the children have a valid ITIN number
  • That as a father or mother you take charge of more than half of your child support

Note: If you decide to claim your children on taxes, you need to confirm that they have a valid ITIN. Remember that all ITIN numbers that have not been used in federal taxes during the last three years have been automatically deregistered. In addition to this, you must bear in mind that all ITIN numbers with the following middle digits have expired: 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 81 and 82. If you want to know how to change an ITIN for a SNN, be sure to see our guide: “How to transfer credit from one social security to another (from ITIN to SSN)”.

What is the Child Tax Credit or child tax credit?

The Child Tax Credit or credit for children is a benefit that is extended to taxpayers in the United States. Basically, all eligible children can be claimed as dependents for that tax year.

By filing the Child Tax Credit, you can reduce the amount of your tax bills. How much? For up to $2,000. You could even receive a refund of up to $1,400 if you’re lucky. Within the eligibility conditions, you will find the following:

  • The taxpayer is the parent who has legal custody of the child or who contributes more than half of your child support.
  • That the child is under 17 years of age and has American nationality. They can also be claimed as dependents foreign children residing legally in the country.
  • That the child lives with the contributing parent for at least half of the fiscal year to be declared.

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