Stimulus Update: Haven’t Received a Child Tax Credit Payment? Check if You’re Eligible

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Today millions of Americans will be sent the fourth installment of the advance child tax credit. If you haven’t received a CTC payment yet because you haven’t signed up or wonder whether you qualify, there’s an easy way to check your eligibility.

See: Didn’t Get Your Child Tax Credit? Here’s How to Track It Down
Find: How To Change Your Direct Deposit Information on the Child Tax Credit Update Portal

The first thing to know is that only children who are U.S. citizens are eligible for the benefit. Next, visit the IRS website and go to the Advance Child Tax Credit Eligibility Assistant page. You’ll see a “Check Your Eligibility” link that will lead you through a series of questions. You’ll first be asked if you claimed the CTC on your most recent tax return and whether you plan to claim it on your 2021 return. If you answer “no,” you don’t qualify for advance CTC payments.

All other answers — “yes,” “unsure” and “did not file a tax return” — will send you on to more questions. You’ll have to answer whether your main home for more than half of 2019 or 2020 was in the U.S. or on its military installations. If yes, you can proceed. If no, you’re not eligible for the advance CTC payments — even if you lived in a U.S. territory outside the 50 states and District of Columbia (exceptions might be granted to Puerto Rico residents, depending on the forms they file).

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From there, you’ll be asked to provide info such as your filing status, income and number of qualifying children. According to the White House website, all working families will get the full credit if they make up to $150,000 for a couple or $112,500 for a family with a single parent (also called Head of Household).

See: Stimulus Update: 1 in 10 Eligible Families Did Not Receive Child Tax Credit Payments
Find: USPS Rate Hikes and Slowdowns Could Delay Your Child Tax Credit Check

Partial credits are available to those who make higher incomes. You might still be eligible for the credit even if you aren’t working now or didn’t work in 2020.

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.

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