ARPA (the American Rescue Plan Act), has made a significant change to the child tax credit. THIS ONLY AFFECTS THE 2021 YEAR!

  • The child tax credit has been increased from $2000 to $3000 per child. If the child is under the age of 6 as of the close of the year, the credit is increased by an additional $600 making it $3600, not the original $2000.
  • The age limit for the child tax credit is raised from “under age 17” to “under age 18”. This means that the child must be under age 18 by 12/31/2021. If your child turns 18 at any point during the 2021 year, you will not get the extra money for this child.
  • Starting July 2021 through December 2021, the IRS will be sending advanced payments. Remember, this is an ADVANCE on the credit you would get on your 2021 tax return.
  • You have the option to opt out of the advanced credit. Go to and look for the Child Tax Credit Update Portal to opt out of the advanced payments.


Example: John and Mary have 4 children on their tax return. Jimmy is age 10, Johnny is age 9, Eva is age 4 and Jasmine is age 2.

On the 2020 tax return: They would’ve received $8000 as their child tax credit on their 2020 tax return.

On the 2021 tax return: Considering the ARPA changes, they would receive $13,200 as their child tax credit on their 2021 tax return.

  • Starting July 2021, the IRS is going to send them “ADVANCED” payments (1/2 of the total 2021 credit amount over 6 months). They will receive $1100 monthly (July – December). When they file the 2021 tax return, they will get $6600 of the leftover credit for a total credit of $13,200.
  • If John and Mary decide to opt out on the advanced (monthly) payments, they would receive $13,200 on the 2021 tax return.