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Cash & Expenses

Updated Advance payments to parents for tax year 2021.

Child Tax Credit (CTC) | NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) / Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

1. How it Works

The Child Tax Credit (CTC) helps families afford the everyday expenses of raising a child. All tax filers with qualifying children are eligible for the credit, even if they have no earned income or don’t owe income taxes. The value of the CTC has been increased for tax year 2021, including up to $3,000 (per child under age 18) or $3,600 (per child under age 6) and can be received as advance payments starting July 15, 2021.

  • Update: CTC credits have been expanded for tax year 2021 through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021.
    • Payments are fully refundable, which means you can benefit from the credit even if you don’t have earned income or don’t owe any income taxes.
    • The credit includes children who turn age 17 in 2021.
    • You can receive half of your CTC credit before you file your tax year 2021 return, and claim the remaining half when you file your tax year 2021 returns.
    • Payments will automatically be made to you on a monthly basis from the IRS starting July 15, 2021 if you have filed your taxes for tax year 2020 or tax year 2019.
      • The IRS will issue the remaining payments on August 13th, September 15th, October 15th, November 15th and December 15th.
    • The IRS has started sending letters to families who, based on federal tax returns, may be eligible to receive monthly CTC payments. Families who are eligible for advance CTC payments will receive a second, personalized letter listing an estimate of their monthly payment.
    • The deadline for tax year 2020 was May 17, 2021, but you may be able to file your 2020 tax return for free with NYC Free Tax Prep if your family earned $68,000 or less.
    • If you aren’t required to file a tax return, use the Child Tax Credit Non-filer Sign-up Tool to provide info to the IRS for advance cash payments.
    • To check the status of any payments or make changes, use the Child Tax Credit Update Portal.
  • To qualify, a child or dependent must be a US citizen or resident and have a Social Security number. They also must have lived with you for over half the year.
    • You can claim your child, stepchild, adopted child, foster child, niece or nephew, grandchild, or great-grandchild.
    • If you have siblings, step-siblings, or half-siblings that live with you, you can also claim them.
  • If you qualify, the government mails your refund (paper check or prepaid debit card) or deposits it into your bank account.

2. Determine your eligibility

Update: CTC credits have been expanded to $3,000 (per child under age 18) or $3,600 (per child under age 6) for tax year 2021 through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021.

To be eligible for CTC, you should be able to answer yes to these questions:

  • Do you have a child or dependent who is under 18 years old and has a Social Security Number?
  • Is your dependent a US citizen, a US national, or a permanent resident?
  • Has your dependent lived with you for over half of the year?
  • Is your dependent claimed on your tax return?

Take a short survey to see if you might be eligible for this or 30 other programs.

Am I Eligible?

3. What you need to include

It’s important to include the right documents when you apply. Your documents show whether the program is right for you.

This page can help you choose the right documents for your application.

If you want to receive your refund through direct deposit, you will need banking information (voided check and/or savings deposit slip). You should bring a copy of last year’s return, if it is available. The income documents listed are necessary to file your taxes.

Proof of who you are

For each person applying, any one document:

  • Driver license or official photo ID
  • Social Security Card for dependents
  • Social Security Card or ITIN

Proof of your income

Next section:

4. How to Apply

4. How to apply

Here are your options.

Apply online

Payments will automatically be made to you on a monthly basis from the IRS starting July 15, 2021 if you have filed your taxes for tax year 2020 or tax year 2019.

Families will have the opportunity to update information about changes in their income, filing status or the number of qualifying children (like if you had or adopted a child after filing tax year 2020 forms).

File online

Come back to it later.
We can send you a link to this page to help you get back to it when you’re ready.

More ways to get help with this program

Visit the website

Go to the IRS page on Advance Child Tax Credit Payments in 2021 for more information.

Go to NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection for more information.

Immigrants can make an appointment with ActionNYC to receive assistance.

Call 311

Ask for tax preparation assistance.

Find a VITA or TCE location

Call 800-906-9887 to find the nearest Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) or Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE).

Visit a tax prep location

If you qualify, visit a tax prep location to get help filing your taxes in person.

Last Updated Wednesday, June 23rd, 4:07pm

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