Child tax credit: will you have to pay the money back to the IRS? Check here

If you don’t qualify for the child tax credit payments you received in 2021, you may have to repay the money.

Sarah Tew/CNET

This story is part Taxes 2022CNET’s coverage of the best tax software and everything you need to file quickly, accurately and on time.

Last year, millions of families received six child tax credit payments. But while most were eligible for this money, some were not for a number of reasons. If you were not eligible and still receive these payments, you may have to refund a portion to the IRS when you file your taxes. You can use the IRS Eligibility Assistant Tool to verify by answering a few questions.

The enhanced child tax credit program allowed parents to get up to $300 per child, per month, between July and December. If you have decided to opt out of these 2021 payments, you will receive the full amount with your tax refund. You can use CNET Child Tax Credit Calculator to get an estimated total if you haven’t already. You should also have received a letter from the IRS detailing the amount you are eligible for this year.

The IRS online tool is the best way to check your eligibility online without having to call the IRS. You will need some personal information and an account with the IRS, which will take some time to configure with ID.me. We updated this story recently.

What qualifies me for an enhanced child tax credit?

Parents can benefit from full child tax credit if they belonged to one of the following categories defined by the IRS.

  • $150,000 or less in total earned income if married and filing jointly
  • $112,500 or less in earned income if reporting as head of household
  • $75,000 or less in earned income if filing single

If parents meet these income requirements, each dependent under age 6 can get parents up to $3,600 in total. Children between the ages of 6 and 17 can win up to $3,000 each. Parents of dependents aged 18 to 24 will receive up to $500 when they file their taxes.

If you earn more than the required income, you can still receive child tax credit advance payments, but less than the maximum amount. The IRS subtracted $50 from each advance check for every $1,000 earned above the income limit. So if you earned $85,000 as a single filer, you would be eligible for up to $200 per month, depending on your child’s age.

There are a few other eligibility requirements for dependents to keep in mind. They:

  • Must be a US citizen
  • Must be under 17 before the last day of the tax year
  • Must be claimed on parent’s tax return
$300 cash with calculator

Dependents between the ages of 18 and 24 can claim the full amount of the child tax credit during that year’s tax period.

Sarah Tew/CNET

How do I check my Child Tax Credit eligibility online?

Before you start, make sure you have a copy of your 2020 tax return (taxes you filed in 2021) or your 2019 tax return if you haven’t filed your 2020 tax return yet. you do not have a tax return in hand, you can use your filing status and the number of children you have declared, as well as an estimate of your total income for 2021.

You can use the IRS Eligibility Assistant tool to answer a few quick questions. Once you have determined what your income was for 2021 or 2020, you can check your eligibility. Here’s how.

1. Go to the Advance Child Credit Eligibility Assistant tool page on the IRS website.

2. Tap or click Check your eligibility.

3. You will then need to answer a few questions about yourself and your taxes. For example, the form will ask if you claimed the Child Tax Credit on a previous tax return.

4. You may need to provide additional information, depending on how you answered the questions. This is where you fill in your filing status, your adjusted gross income, and the number of children you declared on your tax return (as well as their ages).

5. after hitting Following, the tool will let you know if you qualify based on the answers you provided. It will tell you how much each child under 6 qualifies you for and how much each child 6 and over qualifies you for. It will also show you the income phasing details.

6. From there, tap or click Manage your child tax credit advance paymentswhich will take you to Child Tax Credit Portal.

Remember that the Eligibility Assistant tool and the Child Tax Credit Update Portal not tell you how much you are entitled to. The tool also does not tell you:

  • The personalized total you will get from the child tax credit payment. It’s up to you to do the math.
  • How much payments will be reduced if your income exceeds the limit.
  • Only one parent can claim the money for a given child in a shared custody situation.

What if parents are not eligible for child tax credit checks?

If you are unsure whether or not you qualify based on the requirements, confirm that you do with the Eligibility Assistant tool and update your information using the Tax Credit Update Portal for children or wait to update the IRS when you file your tax return.

Can new parents get a child tax credit?

If you adopted or had a baby in 2021, you will need to update the IRS with this information when you file your taxes. When the agency has your updated information on file, you will be eligible for the money. For example, if your baby was born on December 20, you can claim the money you didn’t receive from July to December when you file your taxes. If you had a newborn in January 2022, you won’t be eligible for the larger sum of money that was approved in the US bailout, but you might be eligible for the initial amount.


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