Stimulus update: IRS has new guidance to claim payments in 2022

Leada Gore
al.com (TNS)

The Internal Revenue Service has issued new guidance related to claiming money from last year’s stimulus package. Specifically, funds from the expanded Child Tax Credit.

The child tax credit, part of the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan, raised the existing credit from $2,000 up to $3,600 per child for ages 5 and younger and $3,000 for each child aged 6-17. Half of the credit - $1,800 or $1,500 – was payable in monthly installments of $300 or $250 per child that ran from July to December 2021. The remainder can be claimed when filing 2021 taxes in 2022.

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“There are many important tax credits available for families, and we don’t want anyone to overlook the Child and Dependent Care Credit,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said. “We encourage families and others who may qualify for this credit to carefully review the criteria to make sure they receive the maximum amount they’re entitled to. We also encourage the tax professional communities and others to share this important information.”

Many parents received half of their expanded child tax credit through monthly payments but the remainder must be claimed when filing including those who don’t typically have to file a return due to income levels.

The IRS guidance relates to who can be considered a qualifying child. According to the IRS, the person can be claimed if:

  • They haven’t turned 18 by Jan. 1, 2022
  • They are taxpayer’s son, daughter, stepchild, eligible foster child, brother, sister, step-brother or sister, half-brother or sister, or any descendent.
  • The child didn’t provide more than half their own support in 2021.
  • The child lived with the taxpayer for more than half of 2021
  • The taxpayer claims the child as a dependent
  • The child didn’t file a tax return jointly with their own spouse in 2021 or did so only to claim a tax refund
  • The child was a U.S. citizen, national, or resident alien

You can see the complete guidance here.

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Child and dependent care credit: Another update was more of a reminder of the Child and Dependent Care Credit, which was expanded for tax year 2021.

Depending on income, taxpayers can get a credit worth 50% of their qualifying childcare expenses. For tax year 2021, the maximum eligible expense for this credit is $8,000 for one qualifying person and $16,000 for two or more.

Taxpayers with an adjusted gross income of more than $438,000 are not eligible for the credit.

You can see more on qualifying rules here.