Check Your Eligibility for Advance Child Tax Credit Payments

Beginning this summer, significant changes to the Child Tax Benefit will allow many families to receive advance payments of the credit. From July 15, the IRS will pay half of the entire credit amount in advance monthly payments. Whenever you file your 2021 income tax return, you’ll be able to claim the other half. The changes only affect the tax year 2021.

Here are some of the questions that will help you know more about these changes. 

Q. Who is entitled to Advance Child Tax Credit payments?

If you’ve got a qualifying child, you are eligible for Child Tax Credit payments in advance. In addition, if you’re married and filing a joint return, you or your spouse must spend more than half of a year in any one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia. 

Your primary residence can be anywhere you live regularly. It should not be the same physical location throughout the taxable year for your primary residence to be your temporary lodging, shelter, mobile home, apartment, house or other places. To get these benefits, you don’t need a permanent address.

See this page (Calculation of the 2021 Child Tax Credit) for details on how your Child Tax Credit amount may be decreased depending on your income. 

Q. Who qualifies as a “qualifying child” for the Child Tax Credit in 2021?

For the tax year 2021, a child qualifying for it should be under the age of 18 on January 1, 2022. Specifically, it includes those who fit into the following constraints:

  • The child is the taxpayer’s descendant, half-sister, half-brother, stepsister, stepbrother, sister, brother, qualifying foster child, stepchild, child or any of them (for example, a grandchild, niece, or nephew).
  • During the year 2021, the individual does not give more than half of their support.
  • For more than 2/3 of the tax year 2021, the individual lives with the taxpayer. See IRS Publication 972, Child Tax Credit and Credit for Other Dependents, for exceptions to this rule.
  • The individual is correctly declared as a dependent of the taxpayer. See IRS Publication 501, Dependents, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information for further information on correctly claiming someone as a dependent. 

Q. Is it necessary for my children or me to have Social Security numbers eligible for the Child Tax Credit?

You should have an ITIN (IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) or an SSN (Social Security number) if you are married and submitting a joint return (ITIN). Only if you submitted a 2020 or 2019 tax return with the correct ITIN or SSN will you get Advance Child Tax Credit payments.

Every qualifying child with a valid SSN for employment in the United States will receive an Advance Child Tax Credit payment.

Q. I did not receive the 2019 Child Tax Credit because I did not have a qualified child or had a substantial amount of income on my 2019 tax return. However, according to my 2020 details, I am qualified for the Child Tax Credit. What can I do now to ensure that I receive Child Tax Credit payments in advance in 2021?

Prepare your tax return for the year 2020. You may receive the advance Child Tax Credit payments depending on the number of qualified children allowed for your 2020 tax return, even if you did not obtain the Child Tax Credit based on your 2019 tax return. The payments will begin in July or the months following the processing of your 2020 tax return, whichever comes first.

Q. I’m not sure if I’m qualified for advance payments, so how can I find out? 

Use the Advance Child Tax Credit Eligibility Assistant to see if you’re qualified for advance payments.

Q. The payment was issued, but I never received it. What options do I have?

If you’ve not received the payment within the timeframe listed below, you can initiate a payment trace. You cannot track down your money unless it’s:

  • The bank claims it has not received the payment five days after the deposit date.
  • It has been more than four weeks since the payment was mailed by cheque to a normal address.
  • You have a forwarding address on record with the local post office, and the payment has been mailed for six weeks.
  • You have a foreign address, and it has been nine weeks since the money was mailed.

Q. In the Child Tax Credit Update Portal, what does pending eligibility mean?

It means, you can continue to check your eligibility account. The Child Tax Credit Update Portal allows you to keep checking for status updates.

Q. Why am I not eligible? 

See Who is eligible for advance Child Tax Credit payments?

Q. Can I still be eligible for payments under pending eligibility?

No. Only until we confirm eligibility, you will start receiving advance CTC payments. You may be eligible to claim a complete 2021 Child Tax Credit when you file your 2021 tax return.

Worried about checking your eligibility for Advance Child Tax Credit payments? Or not sure how to start with the entire process? You always have the option of taking legal help to start with this process. For any queries on Advance Child Tax Credit payments or any other clarification on IRS guidelines, Platinum Tax Defenders will help you out. Please get in contact with us.