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Child Tax Credit

What is the Child Tax Credit?

The expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) for 2021 was a part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) signed into law by President Biden to get pandemic cash assistance to more families. The American Rescue Plan Act:

  • Increased the credit from up to $2,000 per qualifying child in 2020 to up to $3,600 for each qualifying child under age 6.
  • Increased the credit from up to $2,000 per qualifying child in 2020 to up to $3,000 for each qualifying child ages 6 to 16.
  • Makes 17-year-olds eligible for up to $3,000 in credit.
  • To get money to families sooner, the IRS began sending the first-ever monthly payments (up to half of your total amount) starting in July 2021.

How to get the rest of the credit

The only way to get the full amount of any remaining Child Tax Credit for which you are eligible is to file a tax return for 2021. When you are ready to file, you can use childtaxcredit.gov to find free assistance for filing to receive your Child Tax Credit.

What if I didn’t file taxes last year?

Even if you did not file your taxes last year, you are still eligible to claim any Child Tax Credit benefits you are eligible for. If you did not file a tax return for 2019 or 2020, you likely did not receive monthly Child Tax Credit payments in 2021. This was because the government did not know how many qualifying children you have and how much assistance filing for the Child Tax Credit, visit https://www.childtaxcredit.gov/triage.