700 Children's® – A Blog by Pediatric Experts

Advance Child Tax Credit Payments: What Should Families Do?

Jul 16, 2021
mom, dad and two kids sitting on the couch and smiling.

As part of COVID-19 relief, Congress expanded Child Tax Credits for 2021 as part of the American Rescue Plan. This includes monthly payments made directly to parents and caregivers from July through December. For qualifying households, the full payment amount is $300 per month for each child 0 to 5 years old and $250 per month for each child 6 to 17 years old. The IRS will send monthly advance payments to eligible families starting July 15.

Will I Still Get a Full Tax Credit for My Child Next Year When I File?

No, this credit pays out half of that credit now and then you’ll receive the other half when you file your 2021 taxes. The credit is based on your income. Those making more than $75,000 a year or those married filing jointly making over $150,000 a year will not receive the full payment amount.

What Do I Have to Do to Receive These Payments?

  • If you filed taxes in 2019 or 2020 and all of your information is still the same:

    You don’t need to do anything! The IRS will figure out your eligibility, estimate your monthly payment amounts, and send them the same way payments were sent the last time you filed taxes. Direct deposit payments will go right to your bank. Paper checks will be mailed to your address on file.

  • If you were not required to file taxes in 2019 and 2020 and have no plans to file:

    You will need to enter your household in the IRS non-filer tool. You will need your personal information, including caregiver ITIN or Social Security number, and Social Security numbers for all children you plan to claim as dependents. The IRS recommends using a laptop or PC to use this tool.

  • If you should have filed for 2020 but still have not:

    File as soon as you can! To find out where free filing services are available, email 614filefree@NationwideChildrens.org.

  • If you filed taxes in 2021 but some of your information has changed:

    You can update information on the IRS’s Child Tax Credit Update portal. The IRS recommends using a laptop or PC to use this tool.

    Information you might want to update includes:

    • Number of dependent children
    • Address
    • Banking information
    • Projected filing status
    • Income

What if I Don’t Want Advanced Payments?

You can also opt out of the advance payments at the IRS’s Child Tax Credit Update portal. Note: if you are married and file jointly, both you and your spouse will need to opt out of this. If both of you do not, you will receive the payment.

Why Would Someone Opt Out of Advanced Payments?

You may wish to opt out if you claimed a child on your 2020 taxes who you will not be able to claim for 2021 or someone else can claim your child for 2021.

What if I’m Expecting a Baby at the End of the Year? Will I Receive This Payment?

You can. You can either receive it when you file your tax return next year or receive monthly payments. Visit the IRS’s Child Tax Credit Update portal to add qualified dependents (your new baby).

Families who need assistance should reach out to Childtaxcredit.gov for help.

For More Information:

During tax season, Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s Healthy Neighborhoods Healthy Families (HNHF) initiative, with community organizations, helps Central Ohio families access tax credits and refunds. If your family’s total income was less than $65,000, you are eligible for free tax filing assistance through 614 File Free. Stay tuned to 614filefree.org for information on next year’s opportunities.

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Ed Miner
Health Neighborhoods Health Families (HNHF)

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700 Children’s® features the most current pediatric health care information and research from our pediatric experts – physicians and specialists who have seen it all. Many of them are parents and bring a special understanding to what our patients and families experience. If you have a child – or care for a child – 700 Children’s was created especially for you.