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Returning Member

New dependent

Hello, I am MFS with NRA spouse and moved abroad. I am a US citizen and file taxes every year. I have no income during 2021 so far while on maternity leave with the new baby. Spouse has no US income and no ITIN, and not interested in going through process to obtain one. Two children, one being a new dependent. Do I even qualify for the child tax credit? Received most recent refund (from when had a job and was living in US) by debit card sent to old address and then rerouted to family member's address. How can I make sure it doesn't arrive automatically to an old address and I'd have to pay it back? Thank you for answering my question and have a nice day.

2 Replies
Employee Tax Expert

New dependent

Hello @Q712,


You are living outside of the United States and you are a U.S. Citizen.  You have 2 dependents, one of which was born in the current year 2021.  You filed married filing separate and your spouse is a nonresident alien.  You filed and received your 2021 refund via Turbotax Prepaid Debit card.  The card was sent to a prior address and forwarded to a family member's address.  You want to know if you qualify for the advance child tax credit and, if so, how to verify it is being sent to the correct location.   


First, to qualify for Advance Child Tax Credit payments you must have a qualifying child. To be a qualifying child, the child must be under 18 on December 31, 2021 and:

  1. The individual is the taxpayer’s son, daughter, stepchild, eligible foster child, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, half-brother, half-sister, or a descendant of any of them (for example, a grandchild, niece, or nephew).
  2. The individual does not provide more than one-half of his or her own support during 2021.
  3. The individual lives with the taxpayer for more than one-half of tax year 2021.
  4. The individual is properly claimed as the taxpayer’s dependent.
  5. The individual does not file a joint return with the individual’s spouse for tax year 2021.
  6. The individual was a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or U.S. resident alien.

Also, you — or your spouse, if married filing a joint return — must have your main home in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia for more than half the year. Your main home can be any location where you regularly live. Your main home may be your house, apartment, mobile home, shelter, temporary lodging, or other location and doesn’t need to be the same physical location throughout the taxable year. You don’t need a permanent address to get these payments. If you are temporarily away from your main home because of illness, education, business, vacation, or military service, you are generally treated as living in your main home.




From what you have described, your 2 dependents most likely qualify as qualifying children.  However, the issue may be whether or not you have a main home in the United States.  If you have lived outside the U.S. for the entirety of 2021, you most likely do not have a main home in the U.S.  Therefore, you do not qualify for the advance child tax credit payments.  If you don't qualify for the advance payments because of the main home exclusion, then you may still be able to claim the increased child tax credits on your 2021 return when filed. You can check your eligibility for the advance child tax credit by using the eligibility tool at the IRS Advance Child Tax Credit Portal website via the link below.  




If you did qualify for the Advance Payments, then the IRS would send the payments to the same account/method that was used on your 2020 return.  Therefore, they would send the payment to the prepaid Turbotax card.  You can check your account information and update the bank account information at the IRS Advance Child Tax Credit Portal linked above.  You can also unenroll from the payments by using the link above.  


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Level 13

New dependent

I just wanted to mention that if you are married to a Nonresident Alien and have a dependent, you may possibly qualify to file as "Head of Household" (you would need to pay for over 1/2 of the cost of keeping up the home for the dependent child).

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