The 2021 Enhanced Child Tax Credit

This page is for tax year 2021 only and shows how to claim the 2021 Child Tax Credit. You can only claim the enhanced Child Tax Credit (CTC) by filing a 2021 Return on paper since the e-file deadline has passed. This tax credit expires on April 15, 2025 as that is the last day to claim a 2021 tax refund. To claim it, follow these steps:
  1. Open the 2021 IRS Form 1040.
  2. Enter your personal details, including name, address, and filing status.
  3. Enter your dependent information; for dependents eligible for the Child Tax Credit, check the box next to each dependent.
  4. Open the 2021 IRS Schedule 8812 and follow each line, filling in the applicable sections.
  5. Take the total refundable CTC and enter it on the Form 1040, Line 28.
  6. Add this to all your tax credits, including the Recovery Rebate Credit for Stimulus 3 from Line 30, and enter the total on Line 32.
  7. Continue through the remaining lines and sign the form.
  8. Mail in your 2021 Return to the IRS.

You can only claim the refundable 2021 CTC on a 2021 Return.

Will the Enhanced CTC Be Revived?

The 2021 Child Tax Credit was the only version of the CTC to ever be fully refundable, regardless of income. The government had proposed multiple plans to bring back the credit, but nothing was ever signed. We will keep these instructions in case this is ever brought back so the credit can be claimed by e-filing a return.

For the current tax year, file with so you do not have to handle complicated forms. Sign up or sign in and begin entering your information. Enter your income and dependents; eFile will calculate your credit(s) for you based on this.