Last week we posted some information about the Advanced Child Tax Credit for 2021. Details about the credit can be found in that blog post here.
The first advance payments under the temporarily expanded child tax credit (CTC) will begin to arrive for nearly 39 million households in mid-July 2021 — unless, that is, they opt out. Most eligible families won’t need to do anything to receive the payments, but you need to understand the implications and why advance payments might not make sense for your household even if you qualify for them.
Understanding the CTC, then and now
The CTC was established in 1997. Unlike a deduction, which reduces taxable income, a credit reduces the amount of taxes you owe on a dollar-for-dollar basis. While some credits are limited by the amount of your tax liability, others, like the CTC, are refundable, which means that even taxpayers with no federal tax liability can benefit. Historically, the CTC has been only partially refundable in that the refundable amount was limited to $1,400.