Last Updated on February 28, 2022 by Anne-Sophie Reinhardt
Single mothers do it all, from running a household, having a full-time job, and taking care of their children. If there is anyone that deserves a little extra help with covering their family’s expenses, the answer is definitely… single mothers.
Will Child Tax Credit really help you with your family’s expenses? Well – the Child Tax Credit aims to help families who are raising children through tax benefits. To help more families the Advanced Child Tax Credit has been put in place in the American Action Plan of 2021.
A little extra money can make all the difference for a single mother who is the head of their household. Child Tax Credit may be exactly what you and your family need to have the opportunities that your family deserves. Here is everything that you need to know about Child Tax Credit from what it is to how you can easily apply for this tax benefit.
What is Child Tax Credit?
Child Tax Credit is a tax benefit that aims to help tax-paying parents for each dependent child. This tax benefit is linked to the parent’s income as well as the number of qualifying dependents. Your taxable income and the amount of tax that you pay can be reduced by making use of tax credits.
The Advanced Child Tax Credit program has been enhanced in the American Action Plan of 2021, the amount of Federal tax that you pay can decrease by $1000 for each child who qualifies in the child tax credit program. Half of the monthly payment will start in July 2021, by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). When filing for an income tax return in 2021 you can then claim the other half.
Benefits of the Advanced Child Tax Credit
- The amount of tax credit that receipts will receive has been increased.
- Monthly payments will allow families to receive their money even sooner, the IRS will divide the total amount of payment and the recipients will receive their payments on the 15th of each month.
- Dependants who are over 17 years old can qualify for a tax credit of $3,000.
- Through the American Action Plan of 2021, you will receive the full amount of tax credit.
Advanced Child Tax Credit Amounts
- You will receive $3,600 for each child under the age of 6 years old, this will be paid to you through a monthly payment of approximately $300 per child.
- You will receive $3,000 for each child between the ages of 6 to 16 years old, this will be payed to you through monthly payments of approximately $250.
A large majority of families do qualify for Child Tax Credit however, there are eligibility criteria that need to be met by the head of the household. There are also certain requirements that your dependents need to meet to be eligible for the Child Tax Credit program.
As a single mother who is regarded as the head of the household, you will need to file your tax credit by yourself and you need to be legally unmarried. One of the requirements of the eligibility criteria for Child Tax Credit is that a single parent’s income needs to be under $112,000 to qualify. If you make more than this your tax credits can be lower or you will not qualify for Child Tax Credit at all.
As a single mother, you will need to pay at least 50% of your household expenses as well as your dependent’s expenses. Your main house needs to be located in one of the 50 states in the United States of America and the District of Columbia. Both yourself and your children will need to live in this house for more than half of the year.
The requirements that your dependents will need to meet to qualify include:
- A dependent is inclusive of a daughter, son, sister, brother, a lawfully adopted child, step-siblings, or another legal family member
- Your child must be under the age of 18 years old at the end of 2021
- The dependent must have a legal social security number
Dependants over the age of 18 years old
Although one of the eligibility requirements for dependents to qualify is that they need to be under the age of 18, there are certain exceptions. If you are a single mother who has a dependent that is 18-years-old they may qualify for a maximum of $500 that will be added to your tax credit amount.
Dependents who are enrolled in a full-time college and are between the ages of 19 and 24 years old will also be able to qualify for a tax credit up to $500, which will be added to your tax credit amount. However, you will only receive these tax credits in 2022.
How to apply for Child Tax Credit?
If you have enrolled for a stimulus check from the IRS, or have filed your tax returns in 2019 or 2020 you will automatically be entered into this program and receive your benefits. (Yes! It is that easy.) However, if you did not file taxes for 2019 or 2020, this means you have not been automatically entered into the program. (Don’t worry! You can always sign up.)
As long as you meet the eligibility requirements all you will need to do is use the Non-filer Sign Up Tool to sign up for these tax benefits. (This will only take you 20 minutes) If you are reluctant to sign up because you are worried about losing other Federal benefits, don’t worry about this. You will not lose any Federal benefits from signing up.
Before you begin signing up make sure you have the following:
- Your Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
- Your dependants Social Security Numbers
- Your email address
- Valid mailing address
- Your bank information
Child Tax Credit simply aims to help families raising children. This tax benefit can make a big difference for these families, specifically families that are being raised by a single parent. The Advanced Child Tax Credit has provided several benefits that have improved the program the main benefit being the increase of the amount of tax credit provided to recipients.
While there are the eligibility criteria that both the recipient and their dependant need to meet, the criteria are not too difficult to meet as most families do qualify for Child Tax Credit benefits. If you have submitted your tax returns for 2019 or 2020 you would have automatically been signed up for this program. However, if you did not file your taxes don’t worry, all you need to do is visit the Non-filer Sign Up Tool which will only take 20 minutes.
As a single mother, you should definitely take advantage of these tax benefits because this extra money can make a huge difference from helping to pay a few bills or providing more opportunities for your children.