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Why your child tax credit was different than you thought it would be

The child tax credit distributed by the government has hit millions of Americans’ bank accounts. Did you get yours? Was it more (or less) than you thought you were getting? Here are some reasons why the credit you received was different than you originally thought.

Your Dependents Changed

If the number of your dependents has changed — you had a baby, you adopted, etc. — it will impact your credit. As Money reports, the IRS used your 2020 tax returns to calculate your credit. So let’s say you have two kids, and adopted another one in May. You thought you’d be getting a credit for all three, right? Well, no. Because while your kid was adopted in May, he or she wasn’t counted in your 2020 tax returns. So therefore, no additional credit. Have no fear though — you’ll get your due when you file your 2021 tax return.

You Don’t File Taxes

Some Americans don’t file tax returns because their income is not high enough to require it. If you don’t file a return, the IRS has nothing to go on, thus you won’t receive a child tax credit. There is a way around this issue: Use the IRS’ Child Tax Credit Non-Filers tool. Simply input your info and the IRS will calculate how much credit you will receive.

Your Kids’ Birthday

The child tax credit says you’ll receive $300 per month for kids six years or younger. For kids six years and older, it’s $250 per month. So why did you get $250 for your kid who turned six in April? The credit is for 2021, which means any kid who turns six in 2021 won’t be getting that full $300.

Chris O'Shea