Are your children eligible for the child tax credit? This is what we know


Your kids could bring in thousands of dollars if they meet the age requirements.

Angela Lang / CNET

Do you know if your children qualify you for the child tax credit payments? You will need to inquire before July 15, as this is when the first check will be given to families whose dependents meet certain age requirements. (You will need to know the income rules, too.) There are three age groups that determine how much money your household will receive. (Calculate your amount here.)

Nearly 39 million households will receive a payment of a certain amount in July, the IRS said. Payments will be consistent and will arrive on the same day every month – for example, September 15 – as long as the payment date doesn’t land on a weekend or holiday. the IRS will open two portals by July, with one that will leave you deactivate monthly payments. You will get up to $ 3,600 in total per eligible child, depending on the child’s age and your adjusted gross income. So if your individual income is less than $ 75,000 and you have a child under the age of 6, you will be eligible for $ 3,600. It also means that you can get a check if you had a new baby or adopted this year.

The IRS should now have more time to focus on the details of the child tax credit payment and the construction of the portals. For now, here’s how President Joe Biden’s next stimulus bill could bring in even more money and what we know of a possible fourth stimulus control and student loan forgiveness. Also here is how to claim up to $ 16,000 in child care expenses. This story has been updated.

Children 17 and under qualify for child tax credit payments

If you have dependents aged 17 or under, they can each count for the new child tax credit. However, the amount to which they are entitled depends on their age. Children ages 6 to 17 will count up to $ 3,000 each. Children under 6 can count up to $ 3,600 each.

The previous child tax credit offered families $ 2,000 per child 16 and under, so adding an additional $ 1,000 to $ 1,600 per child can help families significantly financially. Plus, the new CTC adds 17-year-olds to the mix.

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If your children are between 18 and 24, you are entitled to partial payment

If you have dependents aged 18, they may be entitled to a maximum of $ 500 each for the amount of the child tax credit you will receive. If you have a dependent aged 19-24 who is attending university full-time, they may also be eligible for a maximum of $ 500 each for your total payment, depending on the new stimulus bill.

Babies born this year also entitle you to the highest child credit amount.

If you expect your baby to arrive before the end of 2021, the newborn will also be entitled to a maximum of $ 3,600 for the child tax credit. This includes adopted children, assuming they are US citizens (more details below). You will be able to use the IRS portal once it becomes available to update your information to add your new family member or you can claim the tax credit when you file your 2021 tax return next year. , according to Garrett Watson, senior policy analyst at Tax foundation. The IRS says both portals will open by July 1.

What to know if one of your children has a disability

Children with disabilities can claim the child and dependents credit separately from the child tax credit, Watson said. You may be able to claim this credit if you paid expenses for the care of an eligible dependent to allow you to work, by IRS. Watson says the child tax credit would apply equally to children with disabilities.

If you share custody, here’s how the child tax credit works

The “double check” benefits for the same child worked for the first two stimulus checks, where a loophole allowed single parents who share custody of the two. claim the child as a dependent in a specific situation. This is not the case with the 2021 child tax credit. In fact, an overpayment could ask you to return the money to the IRS.

Your dependent must live with you for at least 6 months per year

If you are 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. However, there are exceptions to this rule, including temporary absences. According to the IRS, “a person is considered to have lived with you during periods when one or both of you is temporarily absent due to special circumstances,” including illness, education, business. , vacation and military service.

In addition, a newborn baby born later than 2021 is included in the exception and will be considered to be living with you for the whole year. However, the IRS will be working on the 2020 tax return, which will not have children born in 2021 listed, according to Joanna Powell, a certified financial planner and CEO of CBIZ, so be sure to update your information. in the portal.

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More requirements for your dependents

If your child isn’t a U.S. citizen and doesn’t have a Social Security number, there’s no way around it: they don’t qualify. When you file your personal income tax return (Form 1040), you must include your dependents and their social security numbers when you claim them for the child tax credit.

This includes adopted children. An adopted child who is not a U.S. citizen and has an ATIN or ITIN (adopted / individual tax identification number) will not be eligible for the child tax credit, by IRS. “The child must have an SSN to be a child eligible for the Child Tax Credit.”

This is different from the third stimulus check, where mixed status households could receive a check and only one household member had to have a social security number.

For more information, here is all you need to know about the 2021 child tax credit, when the CTC payments will come and parents’ qualifications to receive payments.


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