Child tax credit score: Parents of 2021 babies can get up to $3,600, too


New mother and father of 2021 babies can nonetheless get month-to-month youngster tax credit score funds beginning July 15. 


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Expenses and stresses can pile up rapidly for folks of newborns. But final yr was tougher than ever for brand spanking new mother and father due to the pandemic. And mother and father now have to take into consideration what the brand new child tax credit guidelines imply for them. In earlier years, mother and father would declare their youngsters on their tax return and obtain a $2,000 youngster tax credit score as half of their refund. But issues are totally different this yr. 

Thechild tax credit check is now up to $3,600 for eligible children beneath age 6 and $3,000 for youths between ages 6 and 17. The different huge change is the fee schedule. This yr, the IRS is sending automated advance month-to-month checks to qualifying families (except you opt out). It’s nice information for folks who want the additional cash now, however the necessities can be complicated — particularly for these with new babies born this yr (and much more complicated for folks anticipating babies in 2022).

Parents of 2021 babies should full one additional step to begin getting advance youngster tax credit score funds this yr. We’ll break down eligibility necessities and the way to use the IRS web portals to declare your funds. Read on to perceive how the portals work and the way you will use them to declare the credit score for babies born or adopted in 2021, or any new dependents who weren’t listed in your 2020 return. Plus, here is how to declare an extra $8,000-to-$16,000 credit for child care expenses and what we learn about a fourth stimulus check that could be coming.

How a lot is the kid tax credit score value for brand spanking new mother and father?

The new youngster tax credit score for 2021 newborns might be capped at $3,600 per eligible youngster, taking place from there as your revenue goes up. The IRS makes use of totally different AGI phaseout limits (when your revenue is too excessive to qualify for the complete quantity of the credit score) for single filers, heads of family and married {couples} submitting collectively. CNET built a calculator for determining your specific payment eligibility, which it is best to undoubtedly check out, particularly if you happen to even have older youngsters (youngsters 6 and up qualify for much less), share custody or do not maintain US citizenship.


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How can parents of 2021 babies claim the child tax credit?

If your dependents haven’t been reported to the IRS by July (or haven’t even been born yet), you have two options for receiving your payment. First, you could always wait until you file your return next spring and receive the entire child tax credit in one lump sum, just like how the former version of the credit worked. But if you’d like to receive monthly payments before next year’s tax season rolls around, there’s another option. 

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Parents can unenroll from monthly payments using the Child Tax Credit Update Portal. 


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The IRS has set up two online portals for special cases like this one. The Child Tax Credit Update Portal will allow taxpayers to report any change in status (dependents, income) throughout the year. These families will be able to use the portal in the coming months to make sure their information is correct, including adding any 2021 babies as qualified dependents. 

Because payment eligibility is based on your child’s age on Dec. 31, monthly checks will not be prorated. All children (who meet all other qualifications) born on or before Dec. 31, 2021, will receive the full $3,600 tax credit. And parents of twins can get up to $7,200. The only variation will be in the timing of each check. Let’s walk through a few examples:

  • Babies and children born before 2021: You don’t have to do anything to receive child tax credit payments (unless you don’t usually file taxes at all).
  • Babies born between January and July of 2021: If the child is reported in the IRS portal before the first check is sent in July, checks will follow the usual timeline shown in the chart above. However, the IRS hasn’t added a section to its portal to add new dependents.
  • Babies born between July and November of 2021: If the first check has already gone out by the time you register, you’ll receive all subsequent monthly checks, with the remainder coming with your tax return next spring.
  • Babies born in December 2021: After the last check is sent, you will no longer need to use the web portals. Instead, you’ll receive the full $3,600 amount when you file taxes in 2022 and claim your new dependent there.
  • Babies born in 2022 and beyond: Unless the expanded child tax credit is extended for next year, 2022 babies will not be receiving monthly checks or the full 2021 amount of $3,600. That means that a baby born on Dec. 31 is eligible, while a baby born Jan. 1 is not. This is how the child tax credit has worked in the past as well.

When will child tax credit payments arrive?

Unlike stimulus checks, the expanded child tax credit will be paid out in two distinct phases. Half your child tax credit total will arrive as monthly checks, which will be sent out beginning July 15 and continuing through December on the 15th of every month (except in August, when checks arrive on the 13th because the 15th falls on a weekend). The other half will be paid out on your 2021 tax return when you file in 2022. Anyone who qualifies and filed a 2020 return by this year’s May 17 tax deadline will begin receiving monthly checks automatically — no need to file, claim, request or otherwise hunt down your money, as long as the IRS knows how many dependents you have. 

Child tax credit payment schedule

Monthly Maximum payment per child 5 and younger Maximum payment per child; 6 to 17
Jul 15: First 2021 check $300 $250
13-Aug $300 $250
15-Sep $300 $250
15-Oct $300 $250
15-Nov $300 $250
Dec 15: Last 2021 check $300 $250
Apr 2022: Second half of payment $1,800 $1,500

 
If you don’t opt out of the advance monthly payments, you’ll still receive the money starting July 15. Even though the deadline to unenroll for July’s payment has passed, new parents can still opt out before Aug. 2. If you opt out now, you’ll receive the child tax credit money in one lump sum with next year’s tax return. New parents can use the Child Tax Credit Update Portal to check eligibility and unenroll. 

What else could affect my child tax credit eligibility?

One important caveat is that both you and your child must be US citizens and your child needs a Social Security number. And another: Your child’s age group is based on their age on Dec. 31, 2021, so anyone aging into the next payment bracket at any point in 2021 will be considered a part of that group for the entirety of the year. (Got a 5-year-old turning 6 this year? Unfortunately, you may be out about $600.)

We’ll keep this story updated as new information emerges about the expanded child tax credit. Still have unanswered questions? Here’s every important detail to know about the child tax credit, 2021 income limits, how shared custody could impact your child tax credit payments and a timeline for monthly payments. And here’s everything we know so far about a potential fourth stimulus check and nine weird facts about stimulus checks that you should know about.



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