Great news – if you have kids under 18, you could get extra money from the federal government this year!
This money is coming from the Child Tax Credit, which was increased and advanced for 2021 under the American Rescue Plan. Even if you have previously not qualified for the Child Tax Credit, you may receive it this year.
Who is eligible for the Child Tax Credit?
Nearly all families living in the U.S. with kids under 18 qualify this year.
The amount you receive depends on your income and the number of qualifying children in your household. Married couples earning less than $150,000 a year and single parents earning less than $112,500 will qualify for the increased, full benefit of $3,600 per child under age 6 ($300 each month) and $3,000 per child ages 6–17 ($250 each month).
Households with income over $400,000 for a married couple or $200,000 for a single parent may receive smaller amounts or no payment.
The IRS has an online tool to help determine your eligibility.
How do I receive my payments?
Most people will get their payments automatically starting July 15, 2021.
You don’t need to do anything to get your payment if you filed 2020 or 2019 taxes or if you signed up through the IRS to receive the pandemic stimulus checks. The IRS will deposit the money in your bank account or mail a check if they don’t have your bank information on file.
What if I didn’t file taxes or receive a stimulus check?
You are still eligible for the Child Tax Credit, but you must take one of the following actions to receive your money:
- File your taxes: If your annual income is over $24,800 as a married couple, $18,650 as a head of household, or $12,400 as a single filer, you are required to file taxes, and it’s not too late! Learn how to file your taxes here so you can start getting your Child Tax Credit payments.
- Sign up as a non-filer: If your 2020 income was below those amounts, you are not required to file taxes. Instead, you can sign up to receive Child Tax Credit payments using a simple IRS tool for non-filers available here.
Note: If you do not file your taxes or sign up with the IRS as a non-filer, you will NOT receive this payment you are entitled to.
Is there a deadline to sign up as a non-filer?
The Child Tax Credit payments will start on July 15, 2021, so the sooner you sign up as a non-filer, the sooner you can start receiving your money.
However, no matter the timing, you will receive the full Child Tax Credit payment you are owed. If you sign up later this year, the monthly payments will be larger to catch up on the earlier payments you missed.
(Remember, for most people the payments are automatic, and you only need to sign up as a non-filer if you do not file taxes and you did not receive stimulus payments.)
When will I receive my Child Tax Credit payment?
The first half of your Child Tax Credit payment will be distributed monthly starting July 15, 2021 and continuing through the end of the year. The other half will come when you file your taxes in 2022.
How much will I receive for the Child Tax Credit?
The payment amount depends on your income.
The full credit is $3,600 per child under age 6 and $3,000 per child ages 6–17 . The following people will receive that amount:
- Married couples with income under $150,000
- Single parents (head of household) with income under $112,500
- Everyone else with income under $75,000
A lower credit of $2,000 per child ($166 each month) is available to these people:
- Married couples with income under $400,000
- Single parents (head of household) and everyone else with income under $200,000
Families with even higher incomes may receive smaller payments or no credit at all.
Will the Child Tax Credit affect other benefits I receive?
No, the Child Tax Credit payment is not considered income, so it will not change the amount you receive from any other government benefits, such as unemployment, WIC, SNAP, or Medicaid.
How can I avoid Child Tax Credit scams?
Unfortunately, scammers may target the Child Tax Credit payments. If you receive communication from anyone telling you to apply for the Child Tax Credit, offering to get you the payment sooner, etc., do not engage, and absolutely do not give any sensitive information like your birthdate, social security number, or other taxpayer IDs.
The IRS will not email, call, or text you about the Child Tax Credit. When entering any information online, be sure you are on the actual IRS website (irs.gov).
Questions? Mary’s Center is here to help!
We want to make sure everyone in our community who is eligible receives the Child Tax Credit payment, so we are ready to answer all your questions and offer any support needed.
Contact our Social Services team at 202-424-2302 today.
You can also find more information and frequently asked questions from the following resources: