Child Tax Credit
Whether or not you received stimulus checks or monthly payments in 2021, additional money may be available to you through the Child Tax Credit (CTC) when you file a tax return. Even if you do not normally file taxes, you may still be eligible for this credit and must file taxes to receive it. See eligibility information below.
Please note that receiving the Child Tax Credit will have no impact on anyone’s eligibility for, or lower the amount of, other federal benefits such as UI, Medicaid, SNAP, SSI, SDI, TANF, WIC, Section 8 or Public Housing.
While individuals who won't owe taxes have longer to file, filing by April 18, 2022 is how you may get your full benefits the soonest. Help spread the word by telling your friends, family, clients, colleagues, and neighbors to visit ChildTaxCredit.gov to learn more on how to get the Child Tax Credit and/or Earned Income Tax Credit.
The Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit are large tax refund payments that people can receive when they file a tax return. The 2021 American Rescue Plan expanded who can receive these payments and increased the amount of money available to many families and individuals. As part of President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, many parents and guardians are eligible for the Child Tax Credit and many people are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit. Everyone needs to file a tax return to get their full Child Tax Credit and/or Earned Income Tax Credit, even if they do not normally file taxes.
Many families already received about half of their Child tax Credit in monthly payments in 2021. Families will get the rest of the Child Tax Credit they are owed by filing taxes this year. If you did not receive monthly Child Tax Credit payments, you will receive the full credit amount when you file your tax returns.
These changes apply to tax year 2021 only.
To be eligible, the child you are claiming the credit for must be under the age of 17. A qualifying child must be a son, daughter, foster child, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant of any of them (for example, your grandchild, niece, or nephew). An adopted child, lawfully placed with you for legal adoption, is always treated as your own child. Anyone, including grandparents, who are legal guardians may be eligible for the Child Tax Credit.
All eligible families can receive the full credit if they make less than $150,000 for a married couple or $112,500 for a single parent in 2021.
To be eligible for advance payments of the Child Tax Credit, you (and your spouse, if married filing jointly) must have:
- Filed a 2019 or 2020 tax return and claimed the Child Tax Credit on the return or
- Entered your information in 2020 to get stimulus (Economic Impact) payments with the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here tool or
- Given us your information in 2021 with the Non-Filer: Submit Your Information tool
And you (and your spouse, if married filing jointly) must also have:
- Lived in a main home in the United States for more than half the year (the 50 states and the District of Columbia) or filed a joint return with a spouse who has a main home in the United States for more than half the year; and
- A qualifying child who is under age 18 at the end of 2021 and who has a valid Social Security number; and
- Made less than certain income limits.
Visit IRS’s website to view unique eligibility criteria for Advanced Child Tax Credit Payments in 2021.
No application is needed to use this program. However, you must file your taxes using the guidelines posted on the Schedule 8812 (Form 1040 or 1040A, Child tax Credit page.
Based on the tax information you provided, the IRS will determine if you qualify and automatically enroll you for advance payments in 2021. You do not need to take any additional action to get advance payments.
- Visit GetYourRefund.org to file online with the virtual help of IRS-certified volunteer tax preparers. If you prefer, the website can guide you through the steps of filing on your own.
- Find your nearest Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site, where an in-person IRS-certified volunteer can assist you with filing your taxes (income must be below $58,000).
- Visit the IRS’s Free File portal, which will guide you through filing your taxes online.
- If you have an ongoing dispute with the IRS over your taxes, locate your nearest Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC), where a qualified attorney or other tax expert can help.
- Visit ChildTaxCredit.gov to learn more information about receiving the Child Tax Credit.
- Does not affect other federal benefits: Receiving the Child Tax Credit will have no impact on
- anyone’s eligibility for, or lower the amount of, other federal benefits.
- If you received IRS Letter 6419, which tells how much you’ve received from the Child Tax Credit in 2021, hold onto it! You’ll use it when you file.
- But if you did not receive the letter, don’t worry—you can still file! Simply enter the total amount you’ve received for the advance Child Tax Credit payments into your tax return. You can also check how much you’ve received by checking your bank account statements or going to your IRS Online Account.
- Non-taxable: The Child Tax Credit, including the monthly payments received last year, is a tax cut. It is not income that will be taxed.
- Filing earlier is better than later—tax return delays are expected.
- If you have a bank account, select direct deposit for your tax return—your tax return will likely come faster via direct deposit