Why Does My Child Not Qualify for the Child Tax Credit?

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If your child doesn’t qualify for the advance monthly child tax credit payment, there might be a few reasons.

First and foremost, your child must be a U.S. citizen to qualify, according to the Tax Policy Center. Children who are not U.S. citizens are not eligible, no matter how long they’ve been in the United States.

See: New Study Shows the Advance Child Tax Credit Does Not Affect Employment Numbers
Find: Stimulus Qualification: Here’s How To Get the Child Tax Credit If You Had a Child in 2021

Second, your child must meet the age requirements. The White House website notes that the CTC is available for qualifying children up to 17 years old. So if your child is 18 or older, they don’t qualify — even if they live at home.

Your location also will determine whether your child qualifies for the CTC. The IRS has an eligibility assistance page that lets parents figure out if they qualify. If you and your child did not spend more than half of 2019 or 2020 living in the U.S. or on U.S. military facilities, you are not eligible for the advance CTC payment. This is the case even if you spent more than half of either year in a U.S. territory outside the 50 states and District of Columbia. (Certain exceptions might be granted to Puerto Rico residents, provided they fill out the right IRS forms).

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See: How To Use the Child Tax Credit Update Portal
Find: Stimulus Update: Haven’t Received a Child Tax Credit Payment? Check If You’re Eligible

Finally, your income might disqualify your child for the CTC. Families get the full credit if they they earn up to $150,000 a year for married couples or $112,500 a year for single parents (also called head of household). The credit begins to phase out above those income limits. Depending on your income and filing status, your child might not qualify for any credit if you are in a higher income bracket.

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Last updated: Oct. 15, 2021

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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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