Understanding the Child Tax Credit

Three children and a parent standing by and sitting in the cargo area of an SUV. They are all smiling.


What is the expanded Child Tax Credit?

As part of the American Rescue Plan Covid relief package, child tax credits increased to $3,000 per child for children over the age of six and $3,600 for children under the age of six, up to age 17.

The money will be divided into six payments and distributed monthly for the last six months of 2021, staring July 15, 2021.

How do I get it?

If you filed taxes electronically with the IRS in 2020 or 2021 and you have one or more qualifying children, the payments should be directly deposited into your bank account without you having to do anything.

I didn’t file a tax return in 2019, 2020, or 2021. Can I still get the child tax credit?

Yes! You can file a “simplified” or a full tax return and still get the money. Follow the directions found here.

Other things to know:

  • Your child must be a U.S. citizen, national or resident alien and have a Social Security number.
  • You must claim them as a dependent on your 2021 tax return, and the child must be related to you and live with you for at least six months during the year.
  • You need to put the child’s name, date of birth and SSN on the return.

You can calculate how much you’ll get using this tool.