SAN ANTONIO – The Internal Revenue Service has been sending money to qualifying families since July 15 as part of the advance child tax credit.
These payments are a partial advance of the 2021 child tax credit and made possible by the American Rescue Plan Act.
Qualifying families have been receiving these payments based on information found in eligible taxpayers’ 2020 tax returns. In some cases, if 2020 taxes haven’t been filed, tax information from 2019 is used.
This doesn’t cover, however, families who have added to their brood in 2021.
The IRS website initially said families will be able to make changes to their number of dependents in the summer. As of Oct. 4, the IRS has changed that to the fall with no specific date set.
Also still in the works is the option to make changes to your expected income for 2021.
Currently, families claiming the child tax credit for the 2021 tax year will receive up to $3,000 for each qualifying child ages 6-17 and $3,600 for children under age 6. The child tax credit was previously $2,000 for qualifying children under age 17.
Families will receive partial disbursement of that credit, up to $300 a month from July to December, for each qualifying child under age 6, for a total of $1,800. The other $1,800 will be included in a family’s 2021 taxes. Families with children ages 6-17 will get up to $250 a month.
The credit will include children who turn 17 years old in 2021 and is fully refundable, meaning taxpayers who don’t owe income tax or have any earned income can still benefit from the child tax credit.
If you don’t file taxes, but believe you are eligible for the child tax credit the IRS has a sign-up tool where you can determine your eligibility.
According to the IRS, tax credits will be reduced for families with incomes over $150,000 for married taxpayers filing a joint return and qualifying widows or widowers, $112,500 for heads of household, and $75,000 for all other taxpayers.
If you qualify for the child tax credit but do not want to receive the advance payments, there is a tool that allows you to unenroll from the payments.