Are you eligible for the early childhood tax credit? See if you qualify

Dependents aged 5 and under may be eligible for $ 300 per month until December.

Sarah Tew / CNET

There is a lot of news on the child tax credit, how much parents will receive throughout the year, and who qualifies. Here is what we know. Eligible parents will receive up to $ 300 each month until December depending on their child’s age and income. The rest will come with next year’s tax refund. But if you’ve received a payment and you don’t qualify, you may need to reimburse the IRS next year. It is therefore important to verify your eligibility now, especially if circumstances have changed during the pandemic. If you find that you are not eligible, it may be best to opt out of the program before the next early payment on August 13.

To verify your eligibility, you can answer a few questions using the online IRS Eligibility Assistant, also available in Spanish. Then you can use the Child Tax Credit Update Portal to see if you qualify based on your most recent tax return. If you do not yet have an account with the IRS, you can create one using And you’ll need personal information, such as your income, filing status, and number of children, to give you the most accurate results.

If you qualify and the money hasn’t been deposited into your bank account this week, you may receive a check in the mail instead. And even if you qualify, you don’t have to claim the money now. You can unsubscribe from early monthly payments by using the Child Tax Credit Update Portal by the next deadline, August 2. If you have the money – the vast majority of households should have it – use CNET Child Tax Credit Calculator to make sure your total adds up. We will show you how. This could go up to $ 3,600 per child between 2021 and 2022. Plus, here’s what you need to know about how the the child tax credit will affect your taxes if you get the extra money now. We will update this story as needed.

What are the child tax credit prepayment requirements?

Parents may be eligible for early childhood tax credit payments if they adhere to any of the following rules outlined by the IRS.

  • $ 150,000 in total earned income if married and filing jointly
  • $ 75,000 in earned income if you deposit a single person

If parents meet these income requirements, each dependent under age 6 can receive up to $ 300 per month until December and the other half during tax season 2022, for a total of $ 3,600. Children aged 6 to 17 can receive up to $ 250 per month and up to $ 3,000 in total. On the other hand, dependents between the ages of 18 and 24 will have to wait until tax time to get the full amount.

If you earn more than the required income, you can still receive early child tax credit payments, but less than the maximum amount. The IRS subtracts $ 50 from each advance check for every $ 1,000 after the income limit. So if you earn $ 85,000 as a sole filer, you could be entitled to up to $ 200 per month, depending on the age of your child.

There are a few others eligibility conditions for dependents keep in mind:

  • Must be a U.S. citizen
  • Must be under 17 before the last day of the tax year
  • Must be claimed on the parents’ income tax return

If you are unsure whether or not you qualify based on the requirements, go to the Eligibility Assistant tool and update your information using the Child Tax Credit Update Portal. As a safety measure, you can also opt out and get a lump sum during tax season next year. The next unsubscribe deadline is August 2, but you can unsubscribe any time until December if your situation changes.

What information do I need to verify my eligibility for the child tax credit?

Before you begin, make sure you have a copy of your 2020 income tax return, or your 2019 income tax return if you have not yet filed your taxes this year (for example, if you have filed an extension). If you don’t have a tax return on hand, you can use your filing status and the number of children you have claimed, as well as an estimate of your total income for 2020.

You can use the IRS’s Eligibility Assistant tool to answer a few quick questions. If you qualify, you will use your income tax return and the Child Tax Credit Update Portal to see if you are registered for payments. You can also opt out, even if you are not eligible, but have received your first check.

How do I verify eligibility using the IRS Eligibility Assistant?

Once you’ve determined what your income was for 2020 or 2019, you can check your eligibility. Here’s how.

1. Go to Eligibility assistant for the advance child tax credit Tool page on the IRS website.

2. Tap or click Check your eligibility.

3. You will then need to answer a few questions about yourself and your taxes. For example, the form will ask if you claimed the child tax credit on a previous tax return.

4. You may need to provide additional information, depending on how you answered the questions. This is where you fill in your filing status, adjusted gross income, and the number of children you reported on your tax return (along with their ages).

5. After knocking following, the tool will let you know if you qualify based on the answers you provided. It will tell you how much each child under 6 qualifies you for and what amount each child 6 and over qualifies you for. It will also show you the details of the income phase-out.

6. From there, tap or click Manage your advance payments of the child tax credit, which will take you to child tax credit portal which allows you unsubscribe from monthly payments if you prefer to receive one large check instead of several smaller ones, or submit your information if you are not a registrant.

Keep in mind that the Eligibility Assistant tool and the Child Tax Credit Update Portal do not tell you how much you are entitled to.

$ 300 cash with calculator

The Eligibility Assistant tool does not give parents a personalized amount that they will receive from child tax credit payments.

Sarah Tew / CNET

What information does the Eligibility Assistant tool not tell me?

  • The personalized total you will get from the child tax credit payment. He leaves it up to you to do the math.
  • How much will the payments be reduced if your income exceeds the limit.
  • All child tax credit payment dates.
  • Only one parent can claim the money for a particular child in a shared custody situation.

Do Parents of Adopted Children and Newborns Receive Child Tax Credits?

If you adopt or have a baby you will need to update your information in the IRS Update Portal when this feature becomes available at the end of summer. Once the agency saves your updated information, you will be able to receive future payments. For example, if your baby was born on August 20, you might start receiving advance payments in September. You will have to wait until 2022 to get the July and August payments retroactively.

If your baby was born in December 2021, you can claim the money you didn’t receive from July through December when you file your taxes next year. If you have a newborn baby in January 2022, you will not be entitled to the highest amount of money that was approved in the US bailout, but you may be eligible for the initial amount, unless the enhanced child tax credit not be extended.

You can find answers to some of these questions in our Child tax credit faq.

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Child tax credit: everything we know


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