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2021 Child Tax Credit and Advance Child Tax Credit Payments — Topic H:

2021 Child Tax Credit and Advance Child Tax Credit Payments — Topic H: Reconciling Your Advance Child Tax Credit Payments on Your 2021 Tax Return

A1. When you file your 2021 tax return during the 2022 tax filing season, you will need to compare:

  1. The total amount of the advance Child Tax Credit payments that you received during 2021; with

  2. The amount of the Child Tax Credit that you can properly claim on your 2021 tax return.

Excess Child Tax Credit Amount: If the amount of your Child Tax Credit exceeds the total amount of your advance Child Tax Credit payments, you can claim the remaining amount of your Child Tax Credit on your 2021 tax return. Excess Advance Child Tax Credit Payment Amount: If you received a total amount of advance Child Tax Credit payments that exceeds the amount of Child Tax Credit that you can properly claim on your 2021 tax year, you may need to repay to the IRS some or all of that excess payment. In January 2022, the IRS will send you Letter 6419 to provide the total amount of advance Child Tax Credit payments that were disbursed to you during 2021. Please keep this letter regarding your advance Child Tax Credit payments with your tax records. You may need to refer to this letter when you file your 2021 tax return during the 2022 tax filing season.

A2. The amount of advance Child Tax Credit payments that you received during 2021 is based on the IRS’s estimate of the Child Tax Credit amount that you properly would be allowed for the 2021 tax year. The law requires this estimate to be based on these primary sources of information:

  1. Your 2020 tax year return or, if that return is not available, your 2019 tax year return (including a 2019 tax return filed through the Non-Filer Tool for Economic Impact Payments on IRS.gov, or a 2020 tax return filed through the Child Tax Credit Non-filer Sign-up Tool); and

  2. Any updated information you provided to the IRS in 2021, including information provided through the Child Tax Credit Update Portal (CTC UP).

Family and life situations can be fluid throughout a given year. Here are examples of changes that could have resulted in excess advance Child Tax Credit payments.

  • A qualifying child who resided with you may have changed homes during 2021 and resided more than half of the 2021 tax year with a different individual.

  • Your income increased in 2021.

  • Your filing status changed for 2021.

  • Your main home was outside of the United States for more than half of 2021.

As a result of these types of family and life changes, you may have received a total amount of advance Child Tax Credit payments that exceeds the amount of Child Tax Credit that you are allowed on your 2021 tax return. For more information regarding eligibility for advance Child Tax Credit payments, including the definition of your main home, see Topic B: Eligibility for Advance Child Tax Credit Payments and the 2021 Child Tax Credit.

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