The IRS recently revised the 2021 Child Tax Credit and Advance Child Tax Credit Payments Frequently Asked Questions page on its website. With these changes, Publication 972, Child Tax Credit, is obsolete. Taxpayers should use Schedule 8812 (Form 1040) to calculate child tax credits and report advance child tax credits received in 2021, the IRS stated.
The revisions address topics B, C and D of the Child Tax Credit and Advance Child Tax Credit Payments FAQ.
Topic B explains who is eligible for the child tax credit and clarifies the definition of a qualifying child. A qualifying child can be any related child, including an eligible foster child or step/half family member, who qualifies as a dependent of the taxpayer, lived with the taxpayer for more than half of 2021 and did not provide more than half of their own support in 2021. The child must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national or U.S. resident alien.
Topic C reiterates the amount of the enhanced CTC, which is:
- $3,600 annually for children ages five and under for the 2021 tax year
- $3,000 annually for children ages six to 17 for the 2021 tax year
Topic D explains how the IRS determined the monthly advance CTC payments for families. The estimate of the advance enhanced CTC for 2021 came from information in your 2020 tax return or information you provided to the Child Tax Credit Non-Filer Sign-up Tool. If 2020 returns were not available, the IRS used information from 2019 tax returns.
The IRS notes that FAQs allow the IRS to quickly communicate important information to taxpayers. This information is general rather than specific to a taxpayer’s own situation. However, the IRS noted that taxpayers who rely on FAQs reasonably and in good faith won’t be penalized if their reliance results in an underpayment of their tax liability.
If you are doing your taxes yourself and have simple questions related to reconciling your CTC, the revised FAQs may be a good resource to determine your eligibility to claim your credit.
However, if you have any doubts or concerns about filing your taxes, it’s wise to consult with a tax professional who can help. The IRS provides free e-filing services and guided tax preparation for taxpayers who qualify based on their income.
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