2021 child tax credit score: Do your kids qualify for the full $3,600?


Children who meet the age necessities might deliver 1000’s of {dollars} to certified households. 


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As the expanded child tax credit makes its debut subsequent week, many households nonetheless have not calculated how a lot they might get. From July 15 by the the rest of 2021, every qualifying dependent beneath age 6 might get your household a most of $300 a month, and every older child might get your household a most of $250 a month. The second half of the child tax credit score is paid out with subsequent yr’s tax refund. Did you understand there’s an opportunity that folks with dependents over age 18 might get cash as effectively? 

You haven’t got to attend to see if you happen to’re eligible for the child tax credit score, or to calculate the estimated total. We’ve been overlaying all the bases for the 36 million households anticipated to profit: learn how to check your eligibility, learn how to use the IRS portals, learn how to see if you happen to meet the income requirements and learn how to unenroll from the advance payments if you actually need (or need) the full credit score in 2022 as a substitute.

The expanded child tax credit score was enacted as a part of the identical American Rescue Plan in March. The enlargement is momentary, that means there is not any assure that the identical quantity of tax aid will are available future years. However, one other increase to households is the elevated quantity they will claim in child care expenses this yr — as much as $16,000. Also, here is what we find out about the probabilities of a fourth stimulus check in 2021. This story has been up to date.

Each dependent age 17 and youthful: Up to $3,600 or $3,000

If you’ve got dependents who’re 17 years of age or youthful, they will every rely towards the new child tax credit score. However, the quantity they’re eligible for is determined by their age. Kids between the ages of 6 and 17 will rely for as much as $3,000 every. Kids who’re beneath the age of 6 can rely for as much as $3,600 every.

Families will not obtain the full quantity of the credit score on July 15, however a partial one. The preliminary fee subsequent month is an advance fee of both $250 or $300, relying on the age of the child (see chart beneath). The complete of the 2021 month-to-month installments will equal half the quantity of the credit score, with the different half of the credit score coming subsequent yr throughout tax time. You can see a timeline of the funds and extra info here

2021 child tax credit score age brackets

Ages 5 and youthful Up to $3,600 every child, with half of credit score as $300 month-to-month funds
Ages 6 to 17 Up to $3,000 every child, with half of credit score as $250 month-to-month funds
Age 18 $500 one-time test in 2022
Ages 19 to 24, full-time faculty college students $500 one-time test in 2022


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Each dependent age 18 to 24: Smaller one-time payment

If you have 18-year-old dependents, they can qualify for up to $500 each toward the child tax credit amount you’ll receive. If you have a dependent between the ages of 19 and 24 who is attending college full-time, they can also qualify for up to $500 each toward your total payment. That payment will come when you file your taxes in 2022. 

Each baby born in 2021: Up to $3,600

If you’re expecting a baby before the end of 2021, the newborn will also qualify for up to $3,600. This includes children who are adopted if they’re US citizens (more below). You’ll be able to use the IRS Update Portal once that specific feature is available later in the summer — or you can claim the tax credit when you file your 2021 tax return next year. 

Rules for dependents with disabilities

Children with disabilities can qualify for the child and dependent care credit separately from the child tax credit. You may be able to claim this credit if you paid expenses for the care of a qualifying dependent to enable you to work, per the IRS. The child tax credit would apply similarly to children with disabilities.

Rules for parents with shared custody

“Double-dipping” benefits for the same child worked for the first two stimulus checks, where a loophole entitled unmarried parents who share custody to both claim the child as a dependent in a specific situation. That isn’t the case with the 2021 child tax credit. In fact, overpayment could result in you being asked to return the money to the IRS.

Rules for dependents living with you half the year 

If you’re claiming the new child tax credit for your child, note that the child must live with you at least six months out of the year. There are exceptions to this rule, though, including temporary absences. According to the IRS, “A person is considered to have lived with you during periods of time when one of you, or both, are temporarily absent due to special circumstances,” including illness, education, business, vacation and military service.

Also, a newborn child born later in 2021 is included in the exception and will be considered as living with you for the entire year. However, the IRS will be working off the 2020 tax return, which will not have children born in 2021 listed, so remember to update your information in the IRS’ Update Portal when you’re able to later in the summer.


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Additional rules for dependents

If your child isn’t a US citizen and doesn’t have a Social Security number, there’s no way around this one: They don’t qualify. When you file your individual income tax return (Form 1040), you’re required to list your dependents and their Social Security numbers when you’re claiming them for the child tax credit. 

This includes adopted children. An adopted child who isn’t a US citizen and has an ATIN or ITIN (adopted/individual taxpayer identification number) won’t qualify for the child tax credit, per the IRS. “The child must have an SSN to be a qualifying child eligible for the child tax credit.”

This is unlike the third stimulus check, where mixed-status households could receive a check and only one member of the household needed to have a Social Security number.

Here’s more information about the 2021 child tax credit and details on qualifications for parents to receive the payments.



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