Advanced Child Tax Credit FAQs

 

 

The federal government passed legislation (The American Rescue Plan) that increased the amount of Child Tax Credit and modified it to be an advance payment refundable tax credit.  

The American Rescue Plan increased the Child Tax Credit to $3,000 per child for children over the age of six and $3,600 for children under the age of six, and raised the age limit from 16 to 17. All working families will get the full credit if they make up to $150,000 for a couple or $112,500 for a family with a single parent (also called Head of Household). Find the most current information regarding the Advance Child Tax Credit at the IRS Coronavirus Tax Relief webpage.

 

  • What is the Child Tax Credit?

    The Child Tax Credit is a tax benefit to help families who are raising children. 

    • How will the Child Tax Credit give me more help this year?

    The American Rescue Plan, signed into law on March 11, 2021, expanded the Child Tax Credit for 2021 to get more help to more families.

    • $3,600 for each child under age 6.
    • $3,000 for each child ages 6 to 17.
    • Previously, low-income families did not get the same amount or any of the Child Tax Credit. Under the American Rescue Plan, all families in need will get the full amount.
    • To get money to families sooner, the IRS began sending monthly payments (up to half of your total amount) this year, starting in July.
    • It was broken up into monthly payments, of up to $300 per child under age 6 and $250 per child ages 6 to 17.
    • You’ll get the remainder of the credit when you file your 2021 Federal tax return. 
    • Do I qualify for the Child Tax Credit?

    Nearly all families with kids qualify. Some income limitations apply. For example, only couples making less than $150,000 and single parents (also called Head of Household) making less than $112,500 will qualify for the additional 2021 Child Tax Credit amounts. Families with high incomes may receive a smaller credit or may not qualify for any credit at all. For more detail on the phase-outs for higher income families, see “How much will I receive in Child Tax Credit payments?”

    If you have any questions about your unique circumstances, visit irs.gov/childtaxcredit2021

    • Do I need to do anything to make sure I receive my payments?

    Most families didn’t have to do anything to begin receiving the Child Tax Credit payments. 

    If you did not have to file your taxes this year or last year, and you did not register for Economic Impact Payments last year, you can still sign up for the Child Tax Credit payments. The good news is that through the IRS Non-filer Sign-up Tool you can also apply for any Economic Impact Payments (“stimulus checks”) that you’re entitled to but may not have received yet.

    • Can I use the Non-filer Sign-up Tool to apply for Economic Impact Payments (“stimulus checks”) even if I am not signing up for the Child Tax Credit?

    Yes. If you haven’t filed taxes in a while and have not yet received the Economic Impact Payments (“stimulus checks”) that you were eligible for, you can use the Non-filer Sign-up Tool to apply for them whether or not you are also applying for Child Tax Credit payments.  Click this link to apply for missing Child Tax Credits or missing Economic Stimulus payments. Even though the title at the top of the page says Child Tax Credit you use the same form for any of these missing payments.

    • I received the Child Tax Credit for a child on my 2020 taxes (filed in 2021), but they no longer live with me. What should I do?

    If you were not eligible to claim the Child Tax Credit on your 2021 return (the one due in April of 2022), then you should report this on your 2021 tax return.  Receiving the advanced payments could mean that you have to give back those payments when you file your 2021 tax return. 

    If you have any questions about your unique circumstances, you should visit irs.gov/childtaxcredit2021.

      • If I sign up for the Child Tax Credit, will it affect my other government benefits (like SSI, SNAP, TANF, or WIC)?

      No. Receiving Child Tax Credit payments is not considered income for any family. Therefore, it will not change the amount you receive in other Federal benefits. These Federal benefits include unemployment insurance, Medicaid, SNAP, SSI, SSDI, TANF, WIC, Section 8, or Public Housing.

            • Do I need to report the Advanced Child Tax Credit payments which I received? 

            Those who received the Advanced Child Tax Credit starting in July of 2021 will receive a letter 6419 from the IRS . The letter 6419 summarizes the amount Child Tax Credit which was paid to you in advance.  It is important to file your 2021 tax return to ensure you receive the remaining amount of the credit due to you.  Remember to save the 6419 letter and show it to your tax preparer to ensure an accurate return. 

            • How do I find out the amount of Advanced Child Tax Credit payments which I received? 

            You can find the total amount of Advanced Child Tax Credit payments you received  on  Letter 6419  which was mailed to you or you can set an online IRS account,  The total amount of Advanced Child Tax Credit payment is need when you file your 2021 tax return.

            • When did people start receiving payments?

            Payments were issued by direct deposit or check starting July 15, 2021.  All other payments were distributed on the 15th of each month through December of 2021.   

            • How much will I receive in Child Tax Credit payments?

            Most families received the full amount: $3,600 for each child under age 6 and $3,000 for each child ages 6 to 17. 

            This amount varied by income. Those who qualified for the full Child Tax Credit:

            • Married couples with income under $150,000
            • Families with a single parent (also called Head of Household) with income under $112,500
            • Everyone else with income under $75,000

            These who qualified for at least $2,000 of Child Tax Credit:

            • Married couples with income under $400,000
            • Families with a single parent (also called Head of Household) with income under $200,000
            • Everyone else with income under $200,000

            Families with even higher incomes may receive smaller amounts or no credit at all.

            • Where will the IRS send my money?

            The IRS sent payments by direct deposit to the bank account they had on file. If they did not have bank account information for you, a check was be mailed to you. If you received your payment electronically, it will show up in your bank account labeled CHILDCTC.

              • Can I get the Child Tax Credit in a lump sum when I file my 2021 taxes?

              Yes, if you selected not receive the Child Tax Credit in advance, you can get the full amount of the Child Credit due to you when you file your 2021 tax return.   

                • I haven’t filed taxes in a while. How can I receive this benefit?

                You may be eligible for Child Tax Credit payments even if you have not filed taxes recently. Not everyone is required to file taxes.

                This year, taxpayers were only required to file taxes if they earned $25,100 as a married couple, $18,800 as a Head of Household, or $12,550 as a single filer. If your total income in 2021 was below those levels, you can sign up to receive  Child Tax Credit payments using a simple tool for non-filers. Click this link to apply for missing Child Tax Credits or missing Economic Stimulus payments

                If you believe that your income in 2021 means you were required to file taxes, it’s not too late. You can still file a return get your Child Tax Credit Payments in 2021, as well as other tax benefits or a refund you are eligible to claim. For help filing a past due return, visit the Tax-Aid Need Help page or the IRS website.

                • Will I lose out if I didn’t sign up in time to get a payments? 

                No. Everyone will receive the full Child Tax Credit benefits they are owed.  If you did not sign-up for advanced payments in 2021, you will receive the full benefit when you file your 2021 tax return.