Legal Lens: Do you qualify for the newly expanded Child Tax Credit?

Legal Lens

The Brown & Crouppen Legal Lens takes a closer look at everyday legal issues and gives you a better understanding of topics that may affect you.

ST. LOUIS – The first child tax credit payments go out this week. It’s one thing to hear you can apply for the CTC but it’s another thing to eligible for the newly expanded credit. Andrea McNairy, managing attorney at Brown & Crouppen, explains the payout process.

“The first payments of the new child tax credit will be sent to about 39 million families and about 69 million kids,” she said.

How much is the tax credit worth?

“The maximum credit for children is $3,600 for children under 6 and $3,000 for children 6 to 17,” she said.

Half of the credit will be distributed in advance on 2021 taxes and, beginning this week, made in six monthly installments.

But who is eligible and how do they apply?

“The full credit is available to a married couple with children who file taxes jointly and have incomes less than $175,000 and $75,000 individually,” McNairy said.

The credit then phases out up to $95,000 for individuals and $170,000 for couples. However, people who make more than that can still be eligible for the regular tax credit.

The majority of American families will qualify for this?

“If you have already filed your taxes for 2020, you don’t need to do anything,” McNairy said. “You’ll start receiving the checks this week.”

But McNairy said the IRS is estimating half of all eligible families will not receive the credit because they’re non-filers.

“So, the IRS has put together a website (the Child Tax Credit Portal) where you can go in as a non-filer and get information about your children and it’s easy to do,” she said.

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