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.
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).
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