$3,600 child tax credit score: Could income or age disqualify your household?

The elevated funds will put cash within the financial institution accounts of tens of millions of households this yr. 

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Up to 92% of households with youngsters will meet the necessities this yr to obtain cash from the federal growth of the  child tax credit, which incorporates funds of as much as $3,600 per child between 2021 and 2022. However, almost 1 in 10 households with youngsters will not make the reduce to get an advance cost starting on July 15, which is slightly over every week away. Figuring out whether or not you are within the group of eligible households is vital if you happen to had been relying on this tax reduction. 

As is commonly the case with issues tax-related, the child tax credit score guidelines can really feel somewhat… concerned. To obtain the funds, your household wants to herald lower than a specific amount of income, and your dependents must meet different sure necessities. It does embrace babies born in 2021. Also, the advance monthly payments are optional, so mother and father can select as a substitute to obtain your complete lump sum once they file their taxes in 2022. 

We’ll clarify what it’s worthwhile to know beneath. Meanwhile, the White House has launched an informational web page, and there is an updated FAQ on the IRS web site. Here’s easy methods to sign up for the IRS tools to handle your child tax credit score checks and what you can expect next tax season if you happen to obtain the advance funds this yr. We have lately up to date this story. 

What are the income and age brackets for the child tax credit score funds this yr?

The IRS seems at your household’s adjusted gross income, or AGI, the ages of your dependents and a handful of different issues to find out if you happen to meet the necessities for the child tax credit score funds. Here’s a fast take a look at household income and dependent age limits.

Income and age limits for the child tax credit score

Family upper-income qualification restrict Dependent age {qualifications}
Single filer — AGI beneath $240,000 Ages 5 and youthful — as much as $3,600
Head of family — AGI beneath $240,000 Ages 6 to 17 — as much as $3,000
Couple submitting collectively — AGI beneath $440,000 Age 18 — $500
Ages 19 to 24, full-time school college students — $500

Dependent age {qualifications} 

If your dependents are beneath the age of 6 on Dec. 31, you may declare as much as $3,600 per child so long as you meet the income necessities, that are listed beneath. That’s $1,600 greater than the $2,000 that oldsters had been capable of declare on their 2020 tax returns. 

This consists of newborns, even when they’re born later in 2021. Later this yr, mother and father might be capable of replace the IRS with their new dependent info in an online portal to obtain the right advance funds this yr. Otherwise, mother and father can file a declare on their 2021 tax return subsequent yr.

If your dependents are age 6 or older on Dec. 31, you may qualify for as much as $3,000 per child over the following yr, assuming once more that you just meet the income necessities. This consists of your dependents who’re 17 years previous on Dec. 31. In prior years, mother and father may solely declare as much as $2,000 for every dependent age 16 and youthful.

You may get cash for your older children, though it isn’t almost as a lot. You can declare as much as $500 for an 18-year-old, in addition to for full-time school college students ages 19 to 24. 

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 credit score as $250 month-to-month funds
Age 18 $500 one-time examine in 2022
Ages 19 to 24, full-time school college students $500 one-time examine in 2022

Household income limits 

As lengthy as your adjusted gross income, or AGI, is $75,000 or much less, single taxpayer mother and father will qualify for the total child tax credit score quantity. Above $75,000, the quantity begins phasing out. At $240,000, single filers section out of the tax credit score fully.

If you are married and submitting collectively with your partner, your AGI must be $150,000 or much less to qualify for the total child tax credit score quantity. At $440,000, {couples} will section out of the tax credit score fully.

The credit score phases out by $50 for each $1,000 of income over the brink quantities for all filers, in keeping with Joanna Powell, managing director at CBIZ

As a head of family, your AGI will should be $112,500 or much less to qualify for the total child tax credit score quantity. The quantity you may get begins phasing out if your income is over that quantity, and by $240,000 you section out of the tax credit score.

2021 child tax credit score income limits

Who qualifies What the legislation says
Single filer An AGI of $75,000 or much less to qualify for the total quantity
Head of family An AGI of $112,500 or much less to qualify for the total quantity
Couple submitting collectively An AGI of $150,000 or much less to qualify for the total quantity
Nonfiler Will have to file a 2020 tax return to get the cost

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Child tax credit: Everything we know


Non-tax-filing families may qualify but need to take action soon

Child tax credit payments will be automatic for those who filed their 2020 tax returns or claimed all their dependents on their 2019 tax return. If you don’t normally file taxes, because your income is too low or you don’t have a bank account or a permanent address, the IRS won’t know to send you a payment.

That means if you’re considered a nonfiler, you’ll need to act now to be able to receive the first round of payments this year. The IRS opened a new online portal for households that don’t traditionally file income taxes, so they can register their information. You’ll need a number of things on hand before starting the process, including a mailing address, email address, tax information on your dependents and bank account information. 

Or, if you were planning on filing a 2019 or 2020 return but just haven’t gotten around to it yet, the IRS said to do so as soon as possible so your most recent information is on file for determining your payments.

IRS letter informs families of payments

Earlier this month, the IRS started sending letters to 36 million families notifying them they may be eligible to receive monthly child tax credit payments, based on their federal income tax return from either 2019 or 2020. The IRS should also have details for eligible families that used an older IRS nonfilers tool to claim a stimulus check. .

The IRS will soon send eligible families a second letter with a personalized estimate of their monthly payment. 


Some eligible families may opt to receive the full $3,600 per child in one single installment next year. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

More eligibility rules for the 2021 child tax credit 

  • The child you’re claiming must live with you for at least six months out of the year.
  • You and your child must be US citizens, unlike mixed-status households. 
  • For married couples filing jointly, at least one spouse needs to have a Social Security number or an ITIN. 
  • The child must also have a Social Security number — a child with only an ATIN won’t qualify. (This includes adopted children.)
  • Parents who share custody of a child cannot both receive the tax credit.

Here’s what else to know about the 2021 child tax credit.

Important: The results here are based on our current knowledge of the law, but should be treated as broad estimates only. Consult a financial planner for a more personalized estimate.

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