If your 2021 Child Tax Credit is less than your 2020 credit, it's probably because one or more children celebrated their 17th birthday in 2021.
It could also be that you received advance Child Tax Credit payments last year. The amount of credit actually increased for 2021 (up to $3,600 for children under 6, and up to $3,000 for those between 6 and 17), but those payments were advances of the credit that you would normally receive on your tax return. Now that you’re filing, you get the remaining amount. So, while the credit you’re getting on your return now might seem smaller, remember that you already got some of the credit as advance payments.
Other, less common reasons your 2021 Child Tax Credit is less than your 2020 credit include:
- One or more children lived with you for less than half the year in 2021 but lived with you for half the year (or more) in 2020.
- One or more children paid more than half of their own expenses in 2021, but didn't in 2020.
- Your 2021 AGI increased to $150,000 or more (joint filers and widowers), $112,500 (Head of Household), or $75,000 or more (single or separate filers).