Next week’s child tax credit score: 3 quick ways to know if you qualify


Child tax credit score funds roll out in slightly over per week. 


Sarah Tew/CNET

With the primary child tax credit score cost scheduled for subsequent Thursday, now’s the time to be sure you qualify. The IRS has launched new tools and portals for you to shortly check your eligibility and handle your advance month-to-month funds. While the vast majority of US households with children ought to be eligible for this welcome tax reduction, there are a number of guidelines concerning age and earnings brackets. 

Parents who make lower than $150,000 (married and submitting collectively) will get a max of $300 for every child beneath the age of 6 and $250 for every child ages 6 to 17 in common funds via the top of 2021. They’ll see the opposite half of the credit score throughout tax season in 2022. Parents with dependents which are 18-24 years previous could have to wait to file taxes in 2022 to get child tax credit score cash. 

Need the month-to-month checks? After checking your eligibility, you can learn this FAQ on payments. We may also stroll you via how to use ID.me to log in to the IRS tools, and clarify how superior funds can affect your taxes next year. We’ve additionally put collectively particulars on the third stimulus payment and the opportunity of a fourth stimulus check. This story will get updates commonly. 

1. Check your mail for an IRS letter on the child tax credit score 

36 million households who could also be eligible for a child tax credit score cost acquired a letter from the IRS. That means it has decided that you may qualify for child tax credit score cash primarily based in your 2019 or 2020 federal earnings tax return. If you do not usually file taxes, the IRS can use any info you submitted on-line, utilizing what’s referred to as the nonfilers tool, to flag you for eligibility if you have children. So sure, even if you did not file your taxes you should still get superior month-to-month funds beginning this month. 

But that is simply the primary letter giving you a heads-up that you would possibly qualify. The IRS plans to ship a second letter to verify eligibility and estimate how a lot child tax credit score cash you may obtain. To recap, the tax credit score is up to $3,600 per child beneath age 6, and up to $3,000 for every child ages 6 to 17. You’ll get half of the quantity via month-to-month installments this yr and the opposite half when you file your taxes subsequent yr. 

You do not want to do something if you obtain this letter, besides maintain on to it in case you want to reference it in a while. Those who did not get the letter, don’t be concerned fairly but. Here’s extra to know about the IRS letter — and browse on for extra qualification suggestions.


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2. Use the eligibility assistant tool and IRS portals online

The IRS has new portals and tools to help you get your child tax credit money. The interactive eligibility assistant is the best way for families to answer a few questions to see if they qualify — especially if you haven’t received a letter in the mail from the IRS. 

One online portal, the Child Tax Credit Update Portal, will soon let you add new information, correct or update outdated details like the number of kids you have or your income. Right now, you can use it to make decisions about opting out of the advance monthly payments and to add your direct deposit information.

There’s also a nonfiler tool for those who did not file a 2020 tax return and don’t plan to. While there has been some criticism about it not being user-friendly, lacking a Spanish version and not working well on smartphones, the nonfiler tool is one way low-income families can give information to the IRS to make sure they get a payment. 

$300 cash with calculator

If you receive child tax credit payments but aren’t eligible, you may have to pay the money back to the IRS. 


Sarah Tew/CNET

3. Go over child tax credit rules and calculate your total

Instead of waiting for the IRS to send you a letter, you can make an educated guess about your qualification status fairly easily. We think the fastest way is to use our child tax credit calculator. Just enter your yearly income and number of kids. Don’t worry — the calculator is private and anonymous and won’t store or use any of your personal information.

For the most part, the calculator tool will tell you what you need to know. However, there are some outlier qualifications that could crop up. For example, in some cases it’s possible your income will disqualify you

And while parents of new babies will generally qualify for the full amount, that could change if you have shared custody of a child. US citizenship also plays a role, so if any of your kids are adopted from another country, you’ll want to make sure you know all the rules that apply to kids

For more, check here to see if your state owes you money, how you could get money back for your child care costs and if you could get a refund for the unemployment tax break.



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