TYLER, Texas (KETK) – This tax season could be a confusing one for many. East Texas parents say they have questions about the child tax credit and how it could impact their returns. The child tax credit is designed to help working families who are raising children.

In 2020, the child tax credit was worth $2,000 per child under the age of 17 that was claimed as a dependent on your return. For one year only, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 expanded the Child Tax Credit to include children who were 17-years-old to also qualify.

“If the child is not at least age six by the end of last year on Dec. 31, the credit amounts to $3,600. If they are not over 18 by that time, then it’s $3,000,” said Tyler-based CPA, Mike Lamb.

There is also another credit for dependents who are over the age of 18 for a nonrefundable $500. For those who claimed the tax credit in 2020 for a dependent who no longer lives with them, it may be easier to seek guidance from your tax preparer.

“They don’t necessarily have to live with you, they just have to be your dependent. An example would be a college student between the ages of 19-25. They would qualify for that $500 credit,” said Lamb.

Signing up for the child tax credit will not affect other government benefits like SSI, TANF or WIC. The deadline to sign up for the tax credit took place last year, but the 2022 tax season may be able to fix that. 

“From the beginning of July through December, there were six payments. So, the way to get your credit now is to file a tax return as quickly as possible,” said Lamb.

It’s a possibility that you may have to pay some of the tax relief back if you have already received the six monthly installments in addition to what’s already entitled to you.

Be on the lookout for an IRS letter in the mail. It is called a 6419 form which will help you reconcile the amount of child tax credit you are entitled to. Make sure to present this form to your tax preparer.

“You can’t have your cake and eat it too. If you got it during the year, expect that amount to be less at the end of the year when you file your return,” said JMU Tax and Financial, Mickey Sood.

The deadline to file your taxes is April 18. Filing early and bringing all necessary and accurate tax documents can help avoid delays in your tax refund.