Who's Not Eligible for Child Tax Credit Payments (It May Explain Why You're Not Getting Them)

The IRS has sent two rounds of child tax credit payments so far. Here's why some families haven't received any monthly payments.

picture of a sad face drawn on a post-it note pinned to a bulletin board
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The IRS just sent the second of six monthly child tax credit payments. These payments, which can be as high as $300-per-child each month, have the potential to keep millions of American families out of poverty. However, while most parents have already pocketed hundreds or even thousands of dollars, other families haven't received a single dime.

The monthly payments are simply advance payments of the child tax credit you would otherwise claim on your 2021 tax return. You'll get half the total credit amount in monthly payments from July to December this year, and then claim the other half when you file your tax return next year. In most cases, the IRS will determine your eligibility for and the amount of your child tax credit and advance payments based on either your 2020 or 2019 tax return, whichever one was most recently filed. (The IRS also has an online tool that helps you determine if you're eligible.)

To continue reading this article
please register for free

This is different from signing in to your print subscription

Why am I seeing this? Find out more here

Rocky Mengle

Rocky Mengle was a Senior Tax Editor for Kiplinger from October 2018 to January 2023 with more than 20 years of experience covering federal and state tax developments. Before coming to Kiplinger, Rocky worked for Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting, and Kleinrock Publishing, where he provided breaking news and guidance for CPAs, tax attorneys, and other tax professionals. He has also been quoted as an expert by USA Today, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, Reuters, Accounting Today, and other media outlets. Rocky holds a law degree from the University of Connecticut and a B.A. in History from Salisbury University.