Child Tax Credit
The Child Tax Credit: What You Need to Know
It's not too late to get your child tax credit! Although the tax deadline was April 18, you can still file your taxes to get your payment.
The expanded Child Tax Credit is worth $3,000 per child ages 6-17 and $3,600 per child under 6. Under the American Rescue Plan of 2021, eligible families received half of their credit last year as monthly payments. This year, families must file their taxes again to receive the second half of their Child Tax Credit. The credit will be sent as one lump sum payment.
If you have children under 18 who live with you more than half of the year, 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.
- A dependent child lived with you more than half of 2021. The child can be a relative or eligible foster child.
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 self-file or make an appointment for free tax preparation help, visit GetTheTaxFacts.org.
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Child Tax Credit FAQs
Here are some answers to common questions and concerns
How much is the Child Tax Credit worth?
$3,000 per child ages 6 to 17, and $3,600 per child under 6. If you already received the first half of your child tax credit last year, you will receive the second half after filing taxes this year.
For example: if you have two children, ages 4 and 7, and received $3,330 last year, you will receive another $3,300 this year.
Will getting the Child Tax Credit reduce my benefits?
No, the Child Tax Credit does not count as income for federally-funded benefits, including SNAP.
What will I need to file taxes so I can get the Child Tax Credit?
What does "fully refundable" mean?
The Child Tax Credit is applied against the taxes you owe to the federal government, helping to offset any tax burden you might have. If you don't owe any taxes, this money is paid out to you as a refund. Fully refundable means you can receive the full amount of the credit as a refund.
Do I have to file taxes?
Yes, you have to file taxes and claim your children to receive your Child Tax Credit this year.
Will I owe taxes on the money I receive?
No, you will not owe taxes on this money. The Child Tax Credit payments are not income.
I owe back taxes from previous years. Will my payments be reduced?
Yes. Your tax credit may be reduced if you owe back taxes or other federal or state debts. This is different from last year’s Child Tax Credit payments, which were not reduced for overdue taxes.
Can parents who share custody of a child both get the Child Tax Credit?
No, only one parent can claim the credit for a child. The child must also live with you for at least 6 months out of the year.
How much money will I receive if my child is 5, turning 6 this year?
Your payment amounts are based on your child's age on Dec. 31, 2021. For example, if your child turned 6 in February, you will be eligible for $3,600.
I share custody of my child with her other parent, but she lives with me. Who gets the child tax credit payment this year?
If the child lived with you more than half of 2021, you can claim her on your tax return. (Unless you have signed Form 8332 to allow the other parent to claim your child.) If the child’s other parent received advance child tax credit payments last year, they may have to repay those payments. This could happen if their income is above $40,000 as a single filer, above $50,000 as a head of household, or above $60,000 if married and filing with their spouse.
I didn’t get a Child Tax Credit last year. Can I still receive the money now?
Yes, if you’re eligible but did not get monthly payments last year, you can get a child tax credit payment by claiming your children on your taxes this year.
How can parents without a social security number get an ITIN so they can claim the Child Tax Credit?
Parents who do not have a social security number will need an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to claim the child tax credit, even if you do not file taxes. We encourage people to file taxes to be considered for other valuable tax credits, including the Child and Dependent Care Credit for child care that allows you to work or the American Opportunity Tax Credit for tuition or fees for postsecondary education.
To get an ITIN, you must fill out a W-7 form. Certified Acceptance Agents in Michigan can help you with this process; some charge for the service, and some do it for free.
Are DACA recipients eligible for the expanded Child Tax Credit?
Yes, qualifying residents, including DACA recipients, are eligible for the Child Tax Credit so long as the children being claimed in the household have a valid social security number. DACA recipients who are dependents of ITIN filers can also be claimed for the Child Tax Credit because they have valid social security numbers. See more information for DACA recipients filing taxes here.
- IRS Frequently Asked Questions on Child Tax Credit
- Fact Sheet (En Español / In Spanish) (باللغة العربية / In Arabic) (বাংলা ভাষায় / In Bengali)
- Social Media (En Español / In Spanish) (In Arabic / باللغة العربية) (In Bengali / বাংলা ভাষায়)
- United Way's free tax filing website and information on other tax credits
- IRS Free File
- More information on the Stimulus Checks
- Listening to SNAP Participants to Improve Access to 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.