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Does your child qualify for the $3,600 child discount? This is what you need to know



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Children who meet the age rules can bring thousands of dollars to qualified families.

Angela Lang/CNET

The IRS announced this week that it will send letters to more than 36 million families eligible for the recently expanded child tax credit. The first advance per month will be paid on July 15 to parents who meet the income requirements. But how much will that first check be, and what will the total amount be for 2021-2022?

It can be up to $3,600 for each child under 6, including: newborns and adopted children. The first thing to do is use CNET’s calculator to get an estimate of the amount you qualify for. The next thing to do is wait for a second letter from the IRS with a personalized estimate of your monthly payments. You should also have access to the Online Child Tax Credit Portals by then (open before July 1).

The IRS portals allow households to: unsubscribe from monthly payments and update information, which is especially useful for those who: do not file taxes. Families may also want to know how to claim up to $16,000 in childcare costs. Here’s how too the following incentive proposals money and what we know about a potential? fourth stimulus check. This story has been updated.

$3,600 or $3,000 for any dependent age 17 and under

If you have surviving relatives who are 17 years or younger, they can each count towards the new child tax credit. However, the amount they qualify for depends on their age. Children between the ages of 6 and 17 each count for up to $3,000. Kids under 6 can count up to $3,600 each.

Families will not receive the full amount of the credit on July 15, but a partial one. The first payment next month is a $250 or $300 deposit, depending on the child’s age (see table below). The total of the monthly installments of 2021 will be equal to half of the credit amount, the other half of the credit will come at tax time next year. You can see a timeline of the payments and more information here.

Age categories child discount 2021

5 years and younger

Up to $3,600 per child, with half of the credit as $300 monthly payments

Ages 6 to 17

Up to $3,000 per child, with half of the credit as $250 monthly payments

Age 18

One-time check for $500 in 2022

19 to 24 years, full-time students

One-time check for $500 in 2022






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Smaller, one-off payments in 2022 for dependents aged 18 to 24

If you have 18-year-old dependents, they may each qualify for up to $500 in the amount of child tax credit you receive. If you have a dependent between the ages of 19 and 24 who attends college full-time, they may also qualify for up to $500 each for your total payment, according to the March incentive package. That payment will come when you file your tax return in 2022.

Babies born this year are eligible for up to $3,600 each

If you expect your baby to arrive before the end of 2021, the newborn is also eligible for up to $3,600. This includes children who are adopted assuming they are US citizens (more on that below). You can use the IRS portal as soon as it becomes available to update your information to add your new family member or you can claim the tax credit when you file your 2021 tax return next year, according to Garrett Watson, a senior policy analyst at Fiscal Foundation . The IRS says both portals will open on July 1.

Fitness information for children with disabilities

Children with disabilities may qualify for the child and care credit separately from the child tax credit, Watson said. You may be eligible for this credit if you paid expenses for the care of an eligible dependent to enable you to work, according to the IRS. Watson says the child discount applies to children with disabilities in the same way.

Eligibility Information for Shared Custody Parents

“Double-dipping” benefits for the same child worked for the first two stimulus checks, where a loophole allowed unmarried parents to share custody with both claim the child as dependent in a specific situation. Which is that not the case with the 2021 child discount?. In fact, overpaying can result in you being asked to return the money to the IRS.

Relatives must be under your care for at least six months

When you apply for the new child tax credit for your child, you should bear in mind that the child must live with you for at least six months a year. However, there are exceptions to this rule, including temporary absences. According to the IRS, “A person is deemed to have resided with you during periods when one or both of you is temporarily absent due to special circumstances,” including illness, education, business, vacation and military service.

A newborn child born later in 2021 also falls under the exception and is considered to be living with you all year round. However, according to Joanna Powell, certified financial planner and general manager at CBIZ, the IRS will work with the 2020 tax return, which does not list children born in 2021, so don’t forget to update your information in the portal.






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More rules for your next of kin

If your child is not a US citizen and does not have a Social Security number, there is no getting around this: they are not eligible. When you file your individual income tax return (Form 1040), you must list your dependents and their Social Security numbers when you claim them for the child tax credit.

This also applies to adopted children. An adopted child who is not a U.S. citizen and has an ATIN or ITIN (adopted/individual taxpayer identification number) is not eligible for the child tax credit, according to the IRS. “The child must have a BSN to be an eligible child to qualify for the child discount.”

This is different from the third stimulus check, where: households with mixed status status could receive a check and only one household member needed a social security number.

here’s more information about the 2021 child discount and details about qualifications for parents to receive the payments.


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