What to Know about the Child Tax Credit



Members First Credit Union is providing this information to better help our members understand the tax credit. If you have specific questions please contact a tax professional. 

How Does it Work?

The child tax credit is an advance tax credit. It can be received all in one payment during tax season when you file, or you can choose to receive it in monthly payments from July - December 2021. 

How do I manage these payments? 

You can manage where you would like your credit to be deposited, or update any of your information, you can do so through the IRS online portal. The portal also allows you to see your eligibility, and unenroll from payments. 

How is the credit determined?

The total amount of your tax credit is dependent on the age of your dependents and your income. The income thresholds are $75,000 filing single and $150,000 filing jointly. If requirements are met, you can then receive $3,600 for every dependent child under the age of 6 and $3,000 for every dependent child aged 6-17. 

Should I opt out of the credit? How do I opt out? 

Although many families are eligible, many don’t qualify, and these payments are optional. If you would like to unenroll from these payments, you can do so by using the IRS Child Tax Credit Portal. According to the IRS, you must unenroll three days before the first Thursday of the following month to stop advance checks. If you choose to unenroll from this year's payments, you currently cannot re enroll. If you are married and are filing jointly, please note that each parent must unenroll separately.  

  • August 13
  • September 15
  • October 15
  • November 15
  • December 15

The payment has gone out, but I haven’t received my payment yet. What should I do? 

If your direct deposit has been set up, you will probably see a pending payment ahead of the payment date. You might not be able to access the money right away, but should be able to relatively soon after. If you opted to receive a check in the mail, it might take longer for you to receive your payment. If you have still not received it and are concerned, you can check the IRS portal to double check your information, and potentially file a payment trace.

How do payments work if I have shared custody?

For the first two stimulus checks, parents who shared custody of a child but weren't married to each other could each claim money for the same child  if they alternated years for claiming the dependent. This is no longer allowed for the third check.
If your child switches homes this year, parents will need to agree on which parent will claim the child on their taxes this year. The parent that files the child and receives the child tax credit payments will need to fill out Form 8332 and include it with the tax return.

Does my newborn count towards this year's tax credit?

Yes, if you had a baby in 2021, your child will count towards the $3,600 payment. Your adopted child will also count as long as they are a US citizen. 

If I don’t file my taxes, can I still get the credit?

If you did not file taxes, you will need to use the IRS Non-filer sign up tool in order to get your payment. You will need to do this regardless of whether or not you are usually required to file. 


For more information, visit the IRS 2021 Child Tax Credit and Advance Child Tax Credit Payments Frequently Asked Questions

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