The Child Tax Credit is a fully refundable tax benefit accorded to American taxpayers who are raising children. This tax credit was devised to help cover the cost of raising children. 

In 2020, qualifying taxpayers could claim a tax credit of $2,000 per dependent under child, provided the child(ren) were below 17. However, in 2021, the American Rescue Plan by House Democrats stepped up the Child tax credit from $2000 to $3600 per child below six years and $3000 per child for children below 18 years. Furthermore, the qualifying criteria were stretched out, thus enabling low-income families to qualify for the full Child Tax Credit. This act left footprints in the hearts of many low-income families in America.

From 2022, the Child Tax Credit will be reversed to $2000 per eligible child under 17.


  1. The individual himself must be an eligible taxpayer :

       The taxpayer must either be a parent to the children or a family member that has provided more than fifty percent of their financial support during the tax year. Hence, taxpayers can claim credits for their grandchildren, siblings, adopted and foster children, nieces, and nephews.

Only one taxpayer is entitled to the CTC, regardless if the qualifying dependent(s) spends equal time in more than one household during the tax year. The parent with primary custody of the child usually gets the CTC. In a joint study, parents must agree on when to claim the credit. Furthermore, you and your partner must have a Social Security Number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.

      2. The qualifying child/dependent must meet the tax law requirements:

          For a child to qualify for the Child tax credit, the child must be less than 18 and must be either a citizen of the United States or a U.S. national or U.S. resident alien. Aside from the fact that the child should not have provided more than fifty percent of his (her) own financial support, the child must have lived for more than half of the tax year with the qualifying taxpayer. Furthermore, the child must have a valid Social Security Number (SSN) and be claimed as a dependent on the taxpayer’s return.

Do these criteria required to claim a child tax credit seem complex for you? You can always seek the services of an EA tax preparer. These IRS-certified tax service providers will best tell you if you qualify for the CTC and utilize it in collaboration with other benefits and deductions to reduce your tax liability.


CTC can be claimed by filing Form 1040 (U.S. Individual Tax Return) and attaching Schedule 8812 to your tax return. Schedule 8812 is used to determine a taxpayer’s eligible child tax credit. It reports the advanced child tax credit payment an individual receives in 2021 and ascertains any extra tax owed if an excess advance child tax credit payment was received in 2021. It is important to note that if the amount of tax credit exceeds the tax owed, the taxpayer is entitled to a refund of the excess tax credit. 

In 2021, the advance payment of CTC was introduced. Here, taxpayers were permitted to receive their child tax benefits monthly during the year, starting from July to December. Hence, qualifying taxpayers could get their advance payments in amounts of $250 or $300 (depending on the child’s age) per child in the tax year—and the other half in the following year when they file a tax return. Beyond 2021, there will be no more advanced monthly checks for CTC.

You can claim your Child tax credit three years after the filing due date. Thus if you were not informed of the refundable Child Tax Credit, you could file amended returns for the preceding years.


The IRS sends payments to your designated bank account you have on their records. However, if they don’t have your bank details, a check will be mailed to you.


 The amount of Child Tax Credit is determined by income. 

  • Individuals who qualify for the full CTC include a Married couple with income less than $150,000, A Head of household with income less than $150,000, and individuals with income less than $75,000.
  • Individuals that qualify for at least $2000 of the CTC include Married couples with income less than $400,000, a Head of household with income less than $200,000, and individuals with income less than $200,000.

Ever thought of how to reduce the amount you pay in taxes? You take advantage of some credits and be more deliberate on some personal tax planning tactics. What do you need to know about tax and business? An Enrolled Agent will be the best option to put you through. 

Raising kids is expensive; the Child Tax Credit is a refundable tax credit used to counterpoise this cost. Nearly all families with kids qualify for the child tax credit. However, there is a limitation to the amount of credit a taxpayer can get based on their income.