Information on the Child Tax Credit, provided by Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Advance Child Tax Credit (CTC) Basics

  • Authorized by congress and signed by the President in the American Rescue Plan Act
  • The expansion gives more money to more families with children than the previous CTC
    • Increases credit amount (highest for children aged 0 – 5)
    • Increased age to 17 (from 16)
    • No income needed to qualify
  • Option to have monthly payment starting July
  • Must either file taxes or register with the IRS to receive money

Additional payments from the expansion apply to tax year 2021 only.

What families need to know: Am I eligible?

  • Must have a qualifying child
  • Must have a main home in the US for at least half the year
  • Must be below certain income thresholds
  • Must have filed taxes or provided information to the IRS

What families need to know: Who is a qualifying child?

  • Child under 18 years old
  • Has valid social security number
  • Is the taxpayer’s child, stepchild, eligible foster child, brother, sister, halfbrother or sister or descendent of any of them
  • Lived with the taxpayer for at least half the year
  • Can be claimed as a dependent on the taxpayer’s tax return

What families need to know: Am I eligible?

You will get the full amount if your income is below:

  • $150,000 if married filing jointly
  • $112,500 if filing as head of household
  • $75,000 if you are a single filer or are married filing separately

You will get a reduced amount if your income is up to:

  • $400,000 if married filing jointly
  • $200,000 for all other filing statuses

What families need to know: How much will I get?         

  •   If you are eligible for the full amount:
    • $3,600 for children 5 and under
    • $3,000 for children 6 to 17
  •    Amount will be reduced at higher incomes
  • IRS will send your money in multiple payments:
    • Half of your credit in monthly payments from July to December (up to $300 per month for each child under 6; up to $250 per month for each child ages 6 – 17)
    • Half or your credit when you file your taxes in 2022

What families need to know: What actions do I need to take?

                You need to take action if you:

  • Are required to file taxes but have not done so for 2019 or 2020

File your 2020 taxes

  • Are not required to file taxes and you did not provide information to the IRS to get your Economic Impact Payment

Use the IRS Child Tax Credit Non-filer Sign-up Tool

  • Want to update your address, banking, family or other information with the IRS or want to opt-out of monthly payments.

Use the IRS Child Tax Credit Update Portal

Watch out for CTC scams

You can only receive money by either filing a tax return with the IRS or registering on the IRS portals, exclusively on IRS.gov.  Any other option is a scam.

Here is the IRS.gov page for the Advance Child Tax Credit Payments for 2021: https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/advance-child-tax-credit-payments-in-2021

The IRS will never ask you for your personal information or threaten your benefits by phone call, email, text or social media.

The IRS won’t threaten you with jail or lawsuits, or demand tax payments on gift cards.

If you receive an unsolicited email, text, or social media attempt that appears to be from the IRS or an organization associated with the IRS – such as the Department of the Treasury Electronic Federal Tax Payment System – notify the IRS at phishing@irs.gov.

Thank you to Maine Tax-Aide State Coordinator Lambert Robert Walker III for providing this summary from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.