Through the American Rescue Plan, the new Child Tax Credit offers monthly cash payments to families with children. If you are a parent or caregiver of children under 18, you may be eligible even if you do not usually file taxes or have low/no earnings.
The federal government is using the IRS to quickly distribute monthly cash payments to families with children for the next year to help alleviate the burdens created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The first round of payments was issued on July 15, either through direct deposit, paper check or debit cards.
You must file your taxes to get your payments. If you haven't filed, it's not too late.
How much will my family get from the Child Tax Credit?
Through the new Child Tax Credit, families are eligible to receive up to $3,600 per year for each child in their care under the age of 6; and up to $3,000 per year for children ages 6 to 17.
- The first half will be paid out in regular monthly payments starting July 2021 through December 2021. Families will receive $300 per month, per child younger than age 6 and $250 per month, per child age 6 to 17.
- The second half will be paid at tax time in 2022.
Total benefit payment is based on the family’s income and number of children.
The Child Tax Credit does not count as income for federally-funded benefits, including SNAP.
Am I eligible for the Child Tax Credit?
You qualify for the Child Tax Credit, if you meet these three criteria.
- You are a parent, guardian or caregiver with dependent children up to age 17.
- Your child has a Social Security Number. You can file your taxes with an ITIN (Individual Tax Identification Number), but your child must have a Social Security Number.
- You fall below the following income limits to receive the full benefit.
- If you are single and meet the requirements for filing taxes as a head of household, your income must be under $112,500. If you are single and do not meet the requirements for filing as head of household, your income must be under $75,000.
- If you have a spouse and choose to file your taxes jointly, your combined income must be under $150,000.
If your household income is above those thresholds, you will receive slightly smaller payments, depending on income.
Don’t have kids?
It’s still worth it to file your taxes.
You may be eligible to receive money that you did not expect due to recent tax changes, new benefits and COVID-19 relief payments. But you can’t get your refund if you don’t file.
Special thanks to United Way of Southeastern Michigan for their assistance with this page.