Having a baby is a life-altering experience. You will forever be the child’s parent, and your life will likely be richer and fuller. New parents can look forward to years of firsts—first words, first steps, first license, first job, first date. There are exciting times ahead. But, of course, with a new child comes new expenses. As The Washington Post shares, you can expect to spend $17,000 per year on your child until they reach the age of 18. (Keep in mind some parents cut corners, so don’t be overwhelmed by the amount. Many parents raise children for less per year.) While you’ll shell out a lot of money, the IRS also gives you a Child Tax Credit. If you want to receive it, you need to know how to add a newborn to Child Tax Credit.

Use These Steps to Add Your Newborn to Child Tax Credit

You can add your baby to your taxes no matter when in the year the child was born, whether he was born on the first or the last day of the year, or anywhere in between. Simply follow these steps:

Get a Social Security Number

The most important step you’ll need to take is to get your child a social security number. Many hospitals will file a social security form for your baby, but receiving the social security card for your child takes a few weeks.

If your baby is born in the early to middle part of the year, this is not a problem. However, if your child is born late in the year, you must have the social security number before you file. (If you take the credit on your taxes but don’t have a social security number for your child, you will not receive the credit.) If you don’t have your child’s social security number by the tax filing deadline, file an extension using Form 4868 so you have time for the social security card to arrive.

Have the Child Live with You at Least Half Time

Another requirement is that your child lives with you at least half-time during the year the baby was born. If you can’t attest to this, you can’t claim the child tax credit.

How Much Is the Child Tax Credit Worth?

How to Add Newborn to Child Tax Credit

For each child you claim on your taxes, you receive a reduction in your tax burden of $2,000. If you don’t owe $2,000 in taxes, you can receive up to $1,500 of the Child Tax Credit back in cash.

The Child Tax Credit phases out after a single earner makes more than $200,000 or a married couple makes more than $400,000 annually.

Final Thoughts

If you’re wondering how to add a newborn to child tax credit, follow these simple steps. Most importantly, file for your child’s social security number, and file a tax extension if you don’t yet have the number when the deadline to file taxes arrives.

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Melissa Batai
Melissa Batai

Melissa is a freelance writer and virtual assistant. She earned her Master’s from Southern Illinois University, and her Bachelor’s in English from the University of Michigan. When she’s not working, you can find her homeschooling her kids, reading a good book, or cooking.