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Dupaco financial tips

How to find out if you’re eligible for the advance child tax credit

Updated July 7, 2021, at 2:45 p.m. CT

Many families will soon start receiving monthly payments through the end of the year, thanks to an enhanced child tax credit.

The tax credit is intended to help you support your family. It reduces your tax liability, or the amount you pay in taxes, for each qualifying child younger than 18.

The American Rescue Plan, signed into law in March, temporarily increased the credit and makes part of the payments available early to help families dealing with the lingering impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Learn who will receive the advance child tax credit and how to find out when your payments will arrive:

What are the big changes to the child tax credit?

The American Rescue Plan includes several temporary changes to the child tax credit. These changes apply to tax year 2021 only. The expanded child tax credit:

  • Increases the amount of the credit.
  • Makes it available for qualifying children who turn age 17 in 2021.
  • Makes it fully refundable for most taxpayers.
  • Allows many taxpayers to receive half of the estimated 2021 credit in advance.

Who will receive advance payments?

The IRS said you qualify for the advance child tax credit payments if you (and your spouse if you filed a joint return):

  • Have a qualifying child who’s 17 or younger in 2021 and has a valid social security number.
  • Made less than certain income limits.
  • Filed a 2019 or 2020 tax return and claimed the child tax credit on your return OR provided your information last year to receive stimulus payments.
  • Have a main home in the United States for more than half the year or file a joint return with a spouse whose main home is in the United States for more than half the year.

How much is the child tax credit in 2021?

If eligible, you’ll receive up to $3,600 per qualifying child who’s under age 6 at the end of 2021. You’ll receive up to $3,000 per qualifying child who’s between ages 6 and 17 at the end of 2021.

Previously, the credit was worth up to $2,000 per eligible child, and 17-year-olds didn’t qualify.

The increased credit amounts phase out if your income is more than:

  • $75,000 for singles.
  • $112,500 for heads of household.
  • $150,000 for married couples filing a joint return and qualifying widows and widowers.

If you make more, you still might be eligible for the regular child tax credit, which is $2,000 per qualifying child under age 17 for families making less than $200,000 annually or $400,000 for married couples.

The entire credit is fully refundable for 2021. This means that you can receive it, even if you don’t owe federal income tax. Before this year, the refundable portion was limited.

How much are the advance payments?

If eligible, your advance monthly payments will be up to $300 for each qualifying child under age 6 and up to $250 for each qualifying child ages 6 to 17.

Payments will arrive either by direct deposit or check.

When will the child tax credit payments arrive?

The IRS will issue the advance payments, either by direct deposit or check, on these dates in 2021:

  • July 15
  • Aug. 13
  • Sept. 15
  • Oct. 15
  • Nov. 15
  • Dec. 15

Do I need to prepare for my payment?

The IRS said that you don’t need to take any action now other than file your 2020 tax return if you haven’t already done so.

You can check to see if you’re eligible for advance payments with the IRS’ Advance Child Tax Credit Eligibility Assistant.

If you don’t want to receive advance payments, you can unenroll from these payments with the IRS’ Child Tax Credit Update Portal tool. You might want to opt out if you don’t need the monthly payments now or you’d rather receive the full amount when you file your 2021 tax return next year.

This tool also lets you:

  • Check if you’re enrolled to receive advance payments.
  • Provide or update your bank account information.

If you aren’t required to file a tax return and didn’t provide your information to the IRS to receive stimulus payments, you can use the IRS’ Child Tax Credit Non-filer Sign-up Tool to provide some basic info to receive the child tax credit.

The IRS will automatically determine your eligibility and issue advance payments based on the information you provide.

Check out the IRS’ latest updates and tools for this credit >

How can I watch for an upcoming payment in my Dupaco account?

Curious whether your payment is hitting your Dupaco account?

Log in to Shine Online or Mobile Banking, select Direct Deposits and then select the Future tab to see whether you have a future payment from the IRS.

It will tell you when the payment will post to your account.

You can also use Shine’s tools to be alerted when your payment becomes available:


From the Shine menu, select eNotifiers. Under Activity Alerts, enable All Transactions to receive email or text messages for all transactions to your account, including your child tax credit deposit.

Quick Balance

Quick Balance is a special feature of Shine Mobile. Enable it once and you’ll have quick, view-only access to your account balances without having to log into the app each time.

Shine Text Banking

With Shine Text Banking, you can quickly get your balance and transaction history for your savings, checking and Visa accounts. Set up the feature in Shine.

How do I know if the payment is legit?

When money from the government is in the news, scammers pay attention too.

They might call, email, text or DM you. They might “offer” to help you get your payments earlier, get you more money or tell you other lies, warned the Federal Trade Commission.

The FCT also offered these reminders:

  • Only the IRS will send these payments.
  • The government will NEVER call, text, email or DM you out of the blue, asking for money or information.
  • Nobody legit will ever demand that you pay by gift card or wire money.