If you don’t normally file a tax return and haven’t received your child tax benefit yet, it’s not too late to receive a lump sum advance payment of $1,800 per child in December. However, you’ll have to act fast to get that money before the holidays, as the deadline for the advanced payment expires in one week. After that deadline passes, you’ll have to wait until 2022 to claim the funds by filing a 2021 tax return. Here’s what you need to know.
One last chance to get advanced child tax benefit payments
For the 2021 tax year, the child tax credit has been topped-up to $3,600 for children under 6, and $3,000 for kids under the age of 18 (dependents who are over 18, including full-time college students, qualify for $500). Half of this amount can be claimed as part of your 2021 tax return, but the other half has been paid out as monthly cash installments since July (for more details on child tax benefit payouts, check out this Lifehacker post).
While most people have automatically received their monthly advance payments based on their 2020 tax returns, those who don’t normally file tax returns due to low income—known as non-filers—still have to apply manually through a special non-filer portal. If you’re a non-filer who has missed out on these advanced payments, the good news is that the IRS recently announced the total credit—worth up to $1,800 per child—can be paid out in full as part of the final December installment.
How to get advanced child tax credit payments in December
If you haven’t filed a 2019 or 2020 tax return, visit www.getctc.org to sign up for the advanced payments. Make sure to do so before the deadline of Nov.15, after which point you’ll only be able to claim the subsidy as credit by filing a tax return next spring.
To make a claim with the tool, you’ll need your Social Security number or individual taxpayer ID number. And remember, you will qualify for the credit even if you had no income in 2020 (however, the does begin to phase out if you made either $75,000 as a single filer, or $150,000 as part of a jointly filed tax return). If you make a claim before the deadline, the IRS says your payment will be sent Dec. 15.