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Child tax credit expansion 2021: See if you’ll get $500, $3,000 or $3,600 per


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Calculate how much money you could get from the expanded 2021 child tax credit.


Sarah Tew/CNET

Beginning in July, the first of seven child tax credit payments will be sent to you if you have qualified dependents (including newborn babies and older kids in college). The first half of the child credits will arrive from July to December unless you opt out of the monthly payments, with the rest coming in 2022. The payments may also eventually get extended to 2025 — President Joe Biden pushed for this to happen during his speech on Wednesday evening. 

The child tax credit payment schedule and who qualifies is a bit complicated. For instance, if your adjusted gross income for 2021 is above the specified amount, you’ll get less money for your kids overall. Parents who share custody of kids also have set rules. CNET’s child tax credit can help you estimate the total you could get each month. (Here’s how to spend the money when it comes.)

You likely won’t need to file an amended tax form if you’ve already filed your taxes (track your tax status with the IRS). The IRS is still sending stimulus checks and plus-up payments, but will soon be able to focus on the child tax credit payment details. While you’re here, see if your state owes you money and how some could save up to $50,000 on their taxes this year. Here’s what we know about a fourth check, how the next stimulus bill could benefit you and student loan forgiveness. This story has been updated.


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Child tax credit: How much are you getting?



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Check your estimated payment with our 2021 child tax credit calculator 

The new child tax credit raises the 2020 limits from up to $2,000 per child to a maximum of $3,600 — but the math gets complicated fast. Qualified children aged 5 and under count for $3,600. Kids between 6 and 17 years old count for $3,000 maximum per child; 18-year-olds and full-time college students 24 and under can bring parents a one-time $500 payment. 

Enter your details below, including your adjusted gross income, or AGI, to see your payment breakdown. This calculator does not store or use your data. The results are based on our current knowledge of the law and should be treated as broad estimates only (the IRS will determine the final amount). We suggest consulting a financial professional for a more personalized estimate.

Child tax credit calculator for 2021

Use details from your 2019 or 2020 tax return.

1. Choose your filing status below.

Note: If your AGI is less than or equal to $75,000 as a single filer, $112,500 as a head of household or $150,000 filing jointly, you’ll receive the full amount. For incomes higher than $150,000, your child tax credit payments will begin to phase out by $50 for every $1,000 of income over the threshold.

Can parents opt out of the monthly payments and get one large payment instead?

If you’d rather receive your 2021 child tax credit money as one large payment, you’ll be able to opt out of monthly payments once the IRS opens the online portal to help you make that decision and input other information, like…



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