As part of the American Rescue Plan, the new Child Tax Credit offers monthly cash payments to families with children. If you are a parent or caregiver of children under 18, you may be eligible even if you do not usually file taxes or have low/no earnings.

The federal government is using the IRS to quickly distribute monthly cash payments to families with children for the next year to help alleviate the burdens created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The first round of payments was issued on July 15, either through direct deposit, paper check or debit cards.

You can’t get your payments if you don’t file your taxes. File now. It’s not too late. 

I filed my 2020 or 2019 tax return. Now what?

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Don’t have kids?

It’s still worth it to file your taxes.

You may be eligible to receive money that you did not expect due to recent tax changes, new benefits and COVID-19 relief payments. But you can’t get your refund if you don’t file.

How much will my family get from the Child Tax Credit?

Through the new Child Tax Credit, families are eligible to receive up to $3,600 per year for each child in their care under the age of 6; and up to $3,000 per year for children ages 6 to 17.

  • The first half will be paid out in regular monthly payments starting July 2021 through December 2021. Families will receive $300 per month, per child younger than age 6 and $250 per month, per child age 6 to 17.
  • The second half will be paid at tax time in 2022.

Total benefit payment is based on the family’s income and number of children.

The Child Tax Credit does not count as income for federally-funded benefits, including SNAP.

Under age 6

Up to $3,600

total possible annual benefit per child

That breaks down to:

$300 per month per child from July – December 2021, totaling up to $1,800 in 6 months for the first half of the payment

plus

$1,800 per child in a one-time payment after filing 2021 taxes. Payment will be made after April 2022.

Ages 6 to 17

Up To $3,000

total possible annual benefit per child

That breaks down to:

$250 per month per child from July – December 2021, totaling up to $1,500 in 6 months for the first half of the payment

plus

$1,500 per child in a one-time payment after filing 2021 taxes. Payment will be made after April 2022.

Calculate Your Benefit

Am I eligible for the Child Tax Credit?

You qualify for the Child Tax Credit, if you meet these three criteria.

  • You are a parent, guardian or caregiver with dependent children up to age 17.
  • Your child has a Social Security Number. You can file your taxes with an ITIN (Individual Tax Identification Number), but your child must have a Social Security Number.
  • You fall below the following income limits to receive the full benefit.
    • If you are single and meet the requirements for filing taxes as a head of household, your income must be under $112,500. If you are single and do not meet the requirements for filing as head of household, your income must be under $75,000.
    • If you have a spouse and choose to file your taxes jointly, your combined income must be under $150,000.

If your household income is above those thresholds, you will receive slightly smaller payments, depending on income.

Calculate Your Benefit

The first payments were sent to families who qualify starting on July 15. You should have received your payments automatically if you have done any one of the following:

  • Filed a tax return in 2019 or 2020 claiming your children as dependents.
  • Filled out the IRS’s non-filer tool for the economic stimulus payments in 2019 or 2020 claiming your children as dependents.

If you’ve already filed but haven’t received your payment, or if you have questions, click here to learn more.

Still need to file? It’s not too late.

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VOLUNTEER

Become a volunteer income tax preparer with our partners, Accounting Aid Society and Wayne Metro Community Action Agency.

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ADVOCATE

The Earned Income Tax Credit helps families keep more of what they earn. Advocate to increase the Michigan EITC and expand the federal EITC.

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From child care and education resources to free tax prep and financial coaching, United Way works with hundreds of partners to provide services that help families become stable and ensure their children can thrive. Explore our resources, or call 2-1-1 for help.

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GetTheTaxFacts.org is a collective effort to ensure that all families in the Detroit region access every single dollar of federal benefits available to them through the tax system. This would not be possible without all of our dedicated partners.