Child tax credit 2021: 3 ways to see if you qualify for the extra money

Use the Eligibility Assistant tool to see if you qualify for future monthly advanced child tax credit checks.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Did you get the first payment of the child tax credit yesterday? Millions of parents are entitled to up to $ 300 per month, and some families will receive up to $ 3,600 per child between prepayments and next year’s tax refund. But it all comes down to income and age requirements to see how much you will get. Even if you received a check yesterday or a check is on its way, it is best to see if you qualify for the money as soon as possible. If you don’t qualify for the money but still collect it, you may need to pay it back during tax time.

Here is how it works. Parents with incomes of less than $ 150,000 (married and filing jointly) will receive a maximum of $ 300 for each child under 6 and $ 250 for each child aged 6 to 17 in monthly advance payments up to the end of the year. The other half of the money will go into your tax refund in 2022. Families with higher incomes or with older dependents will receive smaller payments. Overall, the extra money is a big relief for parents. President Biden spoke about the child tax credit in remarks on July 15. “It can change the lives of so many families,” Biden said. “It would be the biggest one-year drop in child poverty in the history of the United States of America.”

Read on to find out how to check your eligibility for child tax credit advance payments. We can also show you how to use ID.me to manage your payments, and explain how advance payments could allocate your taxes next year. We have also gathered details about the third stimulus payment and the latest update on a fourth dunning check. This story is updated frequently.

1. Look for a letter from the IRS regarding the child tax credit

About 97% of working families are eligible for a child tax credit. Qualified families received a letter from the IRS. This means that it has determined that you may be eligible for the child tax credit based on your 2019 or 2020 federal income tax return. If you generally don’t report taxes, the IRS can use all the information. that you submitted online using the non-filer tool. The White House also launched ChildTaxCredit.gov, and it includes a step-by-step guide in multiple languages ​​to help parents use the non-filer portal. So yes, even if you haven’t filed your taxes, you can still receive early monthly payments this month.

But it’s only the first letter that warns you that you may be eligible. The IRS plans to send a second letter to confirm eligibility and estimate the amount of child tax credit you could receive (or use our calculator for a quick estimate). As a reminder, the tax credit can go up to $ 3,600 per child under 6 and up to $ 3,000 for each child from 6 to 17 years old. You will receive half of the amount in monthly installments this year and the other half on your tax return. Next year.

You don’t have to do anything if you receive this letterexcept to keep it in case you need to reference it later. Those who haven’t received the letter, don’t worry yet. Read on for more qualifying tips.


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2. Sign up for IRS online portals and the Eligibility Assistant tool?

The IRS has new portals and tools to help you get child tax credit money. the interactive eligibility assistant is the best way for families to see if they qualify by simply responding to a a few short questions. You will need your last tax return to verify your eligibility. But if any information has since changed, you’ll need to use another tool to make sure the IRS has the most recent information.

An online portal, the Child Tax Credit Update Portal, will soon allow you to add new information and correct or update outdated information such as the number of children you have or your income. Right now, you can use it to make decisions about withdrawing advance monthly payments and to add your direct deposit information.

There is also a non-filtering tool for those who have not filed a 2020 tax return and are not planning to do so. While there have been criticisms about its lack of user-friendliness, lack of a Spanish version, and poor functionality on smartphones, the non-reporting tool is one of the ways families in low income can provide information to the IRS to make sure they get a payment.

If the IRS says your eligibility is on hold, you won’t start receiving payments until you’ve been approved. You can check the status of your eligibility using the Child Tax Credit Update Eligibility Portal. If the IRS cannot confirm eligibility this year, you will receive the full child tax credit amount when you file your taxes next year.

On the other hand, if you find out that you are not eligible or unsure, there is still time to unsubscribe before the next payment. You will need to unsubscribe before the next check to avoid receiving the next payment, but this is a one-time action. The IRS plans to add a re-enrollment option in September, but you won’t be able to re-enroll until then. Here are the unsubscribe deadlines to keep in mind.

Time limits for withdrawing the child tax credit

Payment date

Unsubscribe deadline

July 15th

June 28

Aug 13

August 2nd

September 15

August 30

October 15

October 4

November 15

November, 1st

December 15

29 november

3. Calculate your total amount according to the rules of the child tax credit

Even if your first child tax credit check is on its way in the mail, you can make an educated guess about your qualifying status quite easily. We believe the fastest way is to use our child tax credit calculator. Simply enter your annual income and the number of children. Don’t worry, the calculator is private and anonymous and will not store or use any of your personal information.

For the most part, the calculator will tell you what you need to know. However, some aberrant qualifications could arise. For example, in some cases it is possible your income will disqualify you.

And while parents of new babies will generally be eligible for the full amount, which could change if you have shared custody of a child. U.S. citizenship also plays a role, so if one of your children is adopted from another country, you’ll want to make sure you know all of the rules applicable to children.

To find out more, check here if your the state owes you money, how could you get money back for your child care expenses and if you could get a refund for the unemployment tax relief.

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