Starting in just a couple of weeks, monthly $300 payments will start rolling out to millions of American families in the first installment of the advance child tax credit. From July to December, eligible families will receive the monthly payment totaling half ($1,800) of the $3,600 full benefit. Those with children under 6 years of age and who make under $75,000 filing singly and $150,000 filing jointly will largely be eligible.
CNET claims that nearly 92% of US families with children will be eligible to receive the full benefit amount — meaning that 1 in 10 families will not be able to receive the benefit.
There are several stipulations as to who can receive the child tax credit and who cannot beyond just the income threshold. A single filer with an adjusted gross income of $240,000 or less will still be eligible to receive partial benefit, but not the full $3,600. A couple filing jointly will have to make under $440,000 to receive partial, phased-out benefits.
If you are typically a non-filer or do not make enough income to owe federal income tax — you can still qualify for the full benefit amount. Under the American Rescue Plan, the child tax credit was extended to be eligible for all families that meet the income thresholds regardless of employment status.
Importantly, parents who share custody of their children cannot both receive the tax credit.
If your child or children do not live with you for at least six months out of the year, you will not qualify for the benefit. Children/dependents must live mostly with the parent that is claiming them in order to be eligible for the benefit. The IRS states that the custodial parent has the right to claim the credit, and that parent is the one with whom the child lived for the greater number of nights during the year. The other parent is the noncustodial parent.
Additionally, you and your child must be U.S. citizens. This does not necessarily mean that your spouse needs to be, but if you are the one claiming the dependent, then you and your dependent must be U.S. citizens.
The dependent must also have a Social Security Number in order to count as a qualifying dependent. Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers in lieu of an SSNs are acceptable, but a child with only an Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number will not qualify.
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Last updated: July 12, 2021