In 2021, more than 36 million American families may be eligible to receive a child tax credit. The fully refundable tax credit, which is usually up to $2,000 per qualifying child, was increased to up to $3,600 in 2021 under the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. It was the third and last stimulus package aimed at combatting the COVID-19 crisis.
For the first time in U.S. history, recipients of the child tax credit can now receive half of the credit as an advance cash payment. The first four advance payments have been made. The Nov. 2021 installment is expected to hit bank accounts next week.
Child tax credit payment for Nov. 2021
The fifth monthly payment of the enhanced child tax credit is expected to hit your bank account on Nov. 15. If you haven’t been getting child tax credit payments but are eligible, you have until Nov. 15 to opt in. If you opt in before Nov. 15, you'll get a lump-sum payment on Dec. 15, when the final advance child tax credit payment is rolled out. This sum is equivalent to half of the total credit you should get. You'll be able to claim the remaining amount when you submit your taxes in 2022.
If you don’t opt in for the advance tax credit, you can claim it as a fully refundable credit on your 2021 tax returns. The deadline to submit these returns is April 15, 2022.
How much is a child tax credit?
The maximum child tax credit is currently $300 per month for each qualified dependent child under the age of six, and $250 per month for each child between the ages of six and 17.
Child tax credit eligibility
You can take full benefit of the child tax credit only if your modified adjusted gross income is lower than $75,000 for individual single taxpayers, $150,000 for the married individuals filing jointly, and $112,500 for the head of households. The credit gradually reduces above those thresholds.
The credit phases out by $50 for every $1,000 of income beyond the threshold levels for all filers. At $240,000, single filers and head of households phase out of the child tax credit entirely. Meanwhile, the benefit isn’t available to married couples earning over $440,000.
Will child tax credits continue in 2022?
Currently, Democrats are debating a significant $1.75 trillion reconciliation bill. Joe Biden had been pushing to expand the benefit through 2025. That goal, however, was trimmed back in Oct. 2021 when Democratic leaders reduced the entire bill from more than $3 trillion to $1.75 trillion to appease their moderate members. If the plan is signed into law, the bill would mean that $300 and $250 monthly child tax credit payments will continue in 2022.
Use the IRS portal to double-check your address and bank information if you're looking for a missed payment, If the information is accurate but you still you haven’t received your payment, you can ask the IRS to issue a trace by submitting Form 3911.