Child Tax Credit Audits: Parents with Shared Custody Need to Know

About 90% of children in the United States will benefit from the increased payments.

Sarah Tew / CNET

For parents of a child eligible for child tax credit, your first first check should arrive on July 15 and last until the end of 2021, unless you withdraw from monthly checks through the IRS Portals before August 2. But what if you share joint custody of your child? Does the IRS send each parent their own child tax credit payment?

Parents who share custody of a child have certain rules, including who is eligible for payment. For example, as a parent, you might receive a total of up to $ 3,600 for each child under 18, and babies born during this year Is eligible. In addition, parents who pay little or no federal tax will receive the full amount to which they are entitled, whereas in the past low-income families were excluded.

There is also requirements your dependents must meet and limits on the money you get based on your adjusted gross income. As a parent, you should also know that you might get reimbursement of child care expenses – up to $ 16,000. And, if you haven’t received your recent stimulus payment yet, you might want to know when to expect and how follow him. In addition, here are the states offering a back-to-work bonus to fill jobs.

1. In a shared custody situation, can both parents receive the monthly payment?

With the the first two dunning checks, parents who were not married but shared joint custody of a child could each receive payment for the same child if they had been alternating years claiming the child on their taxes. With the latest stimulus package, Congress closed this loophole for third stimulus checks.

Can parents who share custody of a child take advantage of a similar loophole with the new temporary tax credit? Not said Elaine maag, a senior research associate with impartiality Tax Policy Center. Only one parent can claim the credit for a given child, Maag told us. And if you falsely declare a child this year, you may have to repay all or part of the payment next year.

Paying off any child tax credit overpayments is a deviation from how stimulus checks have been handled. Generally, if you received an overpayment, you don’t need to send it back. (Here are the situations where you would need to return a stimulus check payment to the IRS.)

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2. Will the child tax credit money be used to pay for overdue child support?

According to the Congressional Research Service – Congressional Public Policy Research Institute – The new law exempts periodic child tax credit payments that come out this year from compensation for overdue child support. However, the amount you are claiming as a credit on your 2021 tax returns in 2022 could be offset, CRS said, in the same way as stimulus payments claimed as a recovery rebate credit could be redirected to cover overdue debt.

3. How will the new child tax credit work?

Before this year’s changes with the American rescue plan, eligible families could claim a tax credit for their qualified children when they filed their taxes. The credit would reduce the amount of taxes they owed. This payment rule, however, excluded low-income families who did not owe federal tax and would not benefit from a tax savings thanks to the credit.

With the new law, the credit is “fully refundable,” so qualifying families will receive the full dollar amount even though they owe no income tax. Families will receive half of the credit this year through periodic payments starting in July and the second half of the credit in 2022 when they file their 2021 taxes during next year’s tax season. If instead, you prefer to receive a single check, the IRS will allow you to choose to receive full payment next year when you file. Here are more details on how the child tax credit payments will work.


Some 39 million households are automatically eligible to receive monthly child tax credit checks.

Sarah Tew / CNET

4. What are the eligibility conditions for the new child tax credit?

The American Rescue Plan temporarily extends the child tax credit from $ 2,000 per child 16 and under to $ 3,600 for children 5 and under and to $ 3,000 for children 17 and under . If you have dependents between the ages of 18 and 24 who are enrolled full-time in college, you can also receive $ 500 each for them.

There is income limits and phase-out rules. If your adjusted gross income is $ 75,000 or less, single parents will be entitled to the full amount of the child tax credit, but this amount changes with incomes greater than $ 75,000.

The temporary expansion also makes credit available to families in all US territories. Previously, refundable credit was available to families in the U.S. states, Guam, Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, and Puerto Rico.

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5. How much money can each family get in total?

More than 90% of all families with children – from the lowest to the highest qualifying incomes – will receive an average benefit of $ 4,380, according to the Tax Policy Center. Half the amount will come out periodically this year, starting this summer in roughly equivalent installments, and the second half next year when you file your taxes. Calculate your payment total here.

For more information on other amounts you may be owed, here’s how estimate your third dunning check, How? ‘Or’ What track your payment and what we currently know of a possible fourth dunning check.

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