Got a child tax credit check today but not sure you’re eligible? Here’s how to check

Got a child tax credit check today but not sure you’re eligible? Here’s how to check

The first child tax credit payment landed in millions of bank accounts this morning. Eligible parents received up to $300 this morning for the first installment of six monthly payments through December (the rest comes next year). But if you got a payment and don’t qualify, you may have to pay the IRS back next year. The advance monthly child tax credit payments don’t apply to everyone — it depends on the parent’s income and the child’s age. If your circumstances have changed during the pandemic — such as a promotion or where your child lives — you may need to check your eligibility and opt out of the program.

To check your eligibility, you can answer two quick questions using the IRS Eligibility Assistant tool, which is 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. You’ll need personal information, like your income, filing status and number of children, to determine if you qualify for advance payments.

If you’re eligible and money wasn’t deposited into your bank account, you may be getting a mailed check instead. And even though you’re eligible you don’t have to claim the money now. Instead, you can opt out using the Child Tax Credit Update Portal by the next deadline, Aug. 2. If you don’t have an account with the IRS yet, you can set one up using If you got the money this morning — the vast majority of households should have — use CNET’s child tax credit calculator to see how much money you can expect throughout the year. It could be up to $3,600 per kid between 2021 and 2022. Also, here’s what you need to know about how the child tax credit will affect your taxes if you’re getting the extra money now. We will update this story as needed.

What are the child tax credit eligibility requirements? 

Parents may qualify for early child tax credit payments if they meet one 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 filing single

If parents meet these income requirements, each dependent under 6 may get up to $300 per month through December and the other half during the 2022 tax season – totaling $3,600. Children ages 6-17 may receive up to $250 per month and up to $3,000 total.

If you make more than the income requirements, you may still get advance 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 make $85,000 as a single-filer, you may be eligible for up to $200 per month — depending on your child’s age.

There are a few other eligibility requirements for dependents to keep in mind:

  • Must be a US citizen
  • Must be younger than 17 before the last day of the tax year
  • Must be claimed on the parent’s tax return

If you’re unsure of whether or not you qualify based on the requirements, check the Eligibility Assistant tool and update your information using the Child Tax Credit Update Portal. To be on the safe side, you can also opt out and get one lump sum during tax time next year.

What tax information do I need to check my eligibility? 

Before you begin, make sure you’ve got a copy of your 2020 tax return, or your 2019 tax return if you haven’t yet filed your taxes this year (for example, if you 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 claimed, along with an estimate of your total income for 2020.

You can use the IRS’ Eligibility Assistant tool to answer a few quick questions. If you qualify, you’ll use your tax return and the Child Tax Credit Update Portal to see if you’re enrolled for payments. You can also unenroll — even if you don’t qualify, but got your first check…Read more>>



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