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What qualifies a dependent for the revised child tax credit? It’s complicated


Will your kids count toward the 2021 child tax credit, and for how much?

Angela Lang/CNET

Kids who meet the age requirement can help bring thousands of dollars to their families who qualify for the new child tax credit. (Calculate your total here.) The age eligibility guidelines are different from the dependent qualifications for the third stimulus check. With the new child tax credit, the older the child is, the less money the household will get. We’ll explain here how that works based on what we know so far. 

Starting in July, the first of the child tax credit payments will be sent out, with monthly disbursements through December — the rest of the payment would arrive next year. (If you’d rather get one large payment, you can opt out of receiving monthly payments.) Parents of babies born or adopted in 2021 can also receive the checks this year. You can get up to $3,600 per qualified child, depending on the child’s age and your adjusted gross income (AGI). For example, if you have a single income of less than $75,000 and you have one child younger than 6, you’ll qualify for $3,600.

The IRS should release more details as the date approaches for the first child tax credit payment. In the meantime, here’s how President Joe Biden’s next stimulus bill could bring even more money and what we know about a possible fourth stimulus check and student loan forgiveness. This story has been updated.

Kids 17 and younger can qualify toward child tax credit money

If you have dependents who are 17 years of age or younger, they can each count toward the new child tax credit (CTC). However, the amount they’re eligible for depends on their age. Kids between the ages of 6 and 17 will count for up to $3,000 each. Kids who are under the age of 6 can count for up to $3,600 each.

The prior child tax credit offers families $2,000 per kid age 16 and younger, so adding an additional $1,000 to $1,600 per kid can significantly help families financially. Plus, the new CTC adds 17-year-olds to the mix.

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Dependents between 18 and 24 count toward a partial payment

If you have 18-year-old dependents, they can qualify for up to $500 each toward the child tax credit amount you’ll receive. If you have a dependent between the age of 19 and 24 who is attending college full-time, they can also qualify for up to $500 each toward your total amount, per the new stimulus bill

Babies born this year also qualify

If you’re expecting your baby to arrive before the end of 2021, the newborn will also qualify for up to $3,600 toward the child tax credit. This includes children who are adopted, assuming they’re US citizens (more below). You’ll likely be able to use the IRS portal once it’s available to update your information to add your new family member or you can claim the tax credit when you file your 2021 tax return next year, according to Garrett Watson, a senior policy analyst at Tax Foundation. While it’s unclear when the portal will open, it’s likely to be up by July, when the IRS is expected to send…

Read More: What qualifies a dependent for the revised child tax credit? It’s complicated

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