2021 Child Tax Credit and Advance Child Tax Credit Payments — Topic D: Calculation of Advance Child Tax Credit Payments

These FAQs were released to the public in Fact Sheet 2022-03 PDF, January 11, 2022.

A1. The IRS determined your advance Child Tax Credit payment amounts by estimating the amount of the Child Tax Credit that you will be eligible to claim on your 2021 tax return during the 2022 tax filing season.

Our estimate of your 2021 Child Tax Credit was based on information shown on your processed 2020 tax return (including information you entered in the Child Tax Credit Non-filer Sign-up Tool in 2021). If we had not processed your 2020 tax return when we determined the amount of your advance Child Tax Credit payment for any month starting July 2021, we estimated the amount of your 2021 Child Tax Credit based on information shown on your 2019 tax return (including information you entered into the Non-Filer tool on IRS.gov in 2020). If we processed your 2020 return, we recalculated your advance Child Tax Credit payments and adjusted any remaining monthly payments.

Disbursement of advance Child Tax Credit payments began in July and continued on a monthly basis through December 2021, generally based on the information contained in your 2019 or 2020 federal income tax return.  If you are eligible for the Child Tax Credit, but did not receive advance Child Tax Credit payments, you can claim the full credit amount when you file your 2021 tax return during the 2022 tax filing season.  

Note: Advance Child Tax Credit payment amounts do not include the $500 Credit for Other Dependents, which is not refundable. For more information about the Credit for Other Dependents, see IRS Publication No. 972, Child Tax Credit and Credit for Other Dependents PDF.

A2. An eligible individual’s total advance Child Tax Credit payment amounts equaled half of the amount of the individual’s estimated 2021 Child Tax Credit. This amount was then divided into monthly advance payments.

As a result:

  • For each qualifying child age 5 or younger, an eligible individual generally received $300 each month. That was determined by dividing $3,600 in half, which is $1,800. Six monthly payments of $300 provided the eligible individual with $1,800.
  • For each qualifying child ages 6 to 17, an eligible individual generally received $250 each month. That was determined by dividing $3,000 in half, which is $1,500. Six monthly payments of $250 provided the eligible individual with $1,500.