Refundable Credit Vs. NonRefundable Credit
A Refundable tax credit is not limited by the amount of an individual's tax liability (i.e. Earned Income Credit, Child Tax Credit). A nonrefundable tax credit is only capable of reducing an individual's tax liability to zero(i.e.Credits of Education, Credit for the Elderly and Disabled). Refundable credits go beyond this and so really can be considered the same as a payment.