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Advance Child Tax Credit 2021

Parents who claimed the child tax credit on their recent tax returns may receive part of this year’s credit sooner than in past years in the form of monthly payments beginning in July. The advance child tax credit payments are part of the American Rescue Plan to help taxpayers recover financially from the COVID-19 pandemic.

About 39 million households, or 88% of families with children in the U.S., will receive the advance child tax credit. Payments will be made through direct deposit, paper check or debit cards.

About the advance child tax credit 2021

No action is necessary to receive the payments if you claimed the child tax credit on your 2020 or 2019 returns. The payments will be deposited directly into your bank account on or around the fifteenth of each month through the year. Families can claim the other half when they file their 2021 income tax return.

The child tax credit was expanded to $3,600 for children under the age of 6 and $3,000 for children 6-17 years old for tax year 2021. Eligible families will receive up to $300 per month per child under 6 and up to $250 per month for each child ages 6-17.

A permanent address is not necessary to receive the automatic monthly payments.

Qualifying for the child tax credit 2021

The advance child tax credit applies to tax year 2021 only. You must meet the following qualifications to claim the credit:

  • Filed a 2019 or 2020 tax return and claimed the child tax credit on the return. If you did not file a tax return in either of those years, you must have provided the IRS information in 2020 to receive the economic impact payment using the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here tool.
  • Have a main home in the U.S. for more than half the year. Or file a joint return with a spouse who has a main home in the U.S. for more than half the year.
  • Have a qualifying child under 18 at the end of 2021 who has a valid Social Security number.
  • Make less than certain income limits (based on expected 2021 tax filing status).
    • Married filing jointly: Up to $150,000
    • Head of household: Up to $112,000
    • Single or married filing separately: $75,000

Check the IRS Eligibility Assistant to see if you are eligible for the advance payments. For more information on the advance child tax credit, IRS tools and resources, or details on how to unenroll from receiving advance payments, visit IRS.gov.

Resources for managing your finances

Military OneSource and MilTax offer expert guidance to bring you up to date on the new tax laws and help you make smart choices with your advance child tax credit payments.

  • If you haven’t filed your 2020 taxes and have a tax extension, use MilTax to file your return as soon as possible to receive any advance payment you’re eligible for.
  • If you used MilTax to file your return, log in to view your direct deposit information.
  • If your family has a change in circumstances, such as a significant change in income or marital status, or if you have added new children to your household, you may qualify for a larger payment. Call Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 to talk to a MilTax consultant to learn how to provide those details to the IRS.
  • Connect with a Military OneSource financial counselor about the best ways to use your refund or credit.

Military OneSource offers free, confidential financial counseling with financial counselors familiar with military life. Our experts will help you tackle financial issues, such as mounting debt or saving for a house or college, with support that is tailored to your life. Military OneSource also provides free access to child care search services and other resources to help military families like yours. Call 800-342-9647 or use online chat to make an appointment to speak with a financial counselor. OCONUS/international? Find dialing options here.

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