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Child Tax Credit

The Child Tax Credit: What You Need to Know

The new Child Tax Credit is worth $3,000 per year, per child ages 6-17 and $3,600 per year, per child under 6 years old. It will be paid out in monthly payments, not once a year. If you have children under 18, you are likely eligible even if you do not usually file taxes or have low/no earnings.

You Are Eligible If:

  • You are single and your income is under $75,000. Or, if you are single and file taxes as a head of household, your income must be under $112,500.
  • You have a spouse and your combined income is under $150,000.
  • Your child has a Social Security Number. You can file with an ITIN, but your child must have a SSN.
  • If household income is above those thresholds, you will receive slightly smaller payments, depending on income.

To Get the Expanded Child Tax Credit

  • File your taxes, even if you don’t file them normally. This will tell the IRS where to send your payment and how many children you take care of. Also, if you don’t file, you might miss out on other tax credits. To make an appointment for free tax preparation help, visit
  • If you have already filed your 2020 taxes, 2019 taxes, or filled out the IRS Non-filer tool in 2020 to get your stimulus payments: there’s nothing else you need to do!
  • If you are not required to file taxes, we still encourage you to file a tax return to ensure you don't miss out on any other refundable tax credits you may be eligible for. However, the IRS just released a Non-Filer tool that you can also use to both sign up for the Child Tax Credit, and claim any missed stimulus payments. But filing for the child tax credit this way means you may miss out on other important tax credits like the Home Heating Credit.

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Child Tax Credit FAQs

Here are some answers to common questions and concerns

When will I start receiving the payments?

How much is the Child Tax Credit worth?

Will getting the Child Tax Credit reduce my benefits?

I'm used to getting my refund at tax time. Does this mean I won't receive this money at tax time?

I don't usually file taxes. What will I need to file taxes so I can get the Child Tax Credit?

What does "fully refundable" mean?

Do I have to file taxes?

Will I owe taxes on the money I receive?

Can parents who share custody of a child both get the Child Tax Credit?

How do I opt out of the monthly payments? Is there any benefit to doing so?

How much money will I receive if my child is 5, turning 6 this year?

How can parents without a social security number get an ITIN so they can claim the Child Tax Credit?

Are DACA recipients eligible for the expanded Child Tax Credit?

About this page

This resource was created by Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan to help ensure that all Michiganders can access the child tax credit benefits they are eligible for.