Child tax credit payment schedule: $300 monthly checks start mailing July 15

Did you get a letter from the IRS this week? If you didn’t open it yet, chances are it’s a notification regarding the 2021 expanded child tax credit. The IRS says it’s sending out letters to 36 million families with details about payment schedules and amounts. Even if you didn’t get a letter, you may still be eligible to receive monthly payments for the child tax credit, totaling up to $3,600.

Starting July 15, families with qualifying dependents could receive up to $300 per month per dependent under age 6 (or up to $250 for older children). Half the expanded credit will arrive via monthly payments between July and the end of 2021, and the other half will be included in your tax refund after you file next spring. Check to see if your dependents qualify, and use CNET’s child tax credit calculate or estimate your payment size.

Before the start of next month, the IRS will open two web portals. Parents will be able to opt out of monthly payments or update their personal details like income or number of dependents — which are essential for receiving the right amount for the credit — and will also let them check the status of payments. We’ll explain what to do if you normally don’t file a tax return or if you share child custody. You might also want to know how to claim up to $16,000 in child care expenses and how you will be receiving your payments. We update this story regularly.

 What is the payment schedule for the enhanced child tax credit?

The first child tax credit check will arrive July 15 and is automatic for those households that qualify. The first six payments totaling half the credit will arrive monthly, targeting the same day of the month — though you may not receive the payment on the exact same day every month, especially if you get a paper check instead of a direct deposit payment.

For Aug. 15, which is a Sunday,  the IRS said the payment will go out Aug. 13. The checks will end in December, with the remainder of the credit coming next year after taxes. Here’s a rough schedule:

What if you didn’t file your last tax return?

Payments will be automatic for those who filed their 2020 tax returns by the May 17 deadline, so nonfilers will need to file a simple one-time tax return to get their money, even if they’re not usually required to file. This will let the IRS know your income and how many dependents are in your household who count toward the child tax credit benefits. Those taxpayers who did meet the deadline shouldn’t file an amended return related to the new legislation.

If you don’t file a tax return, you may not get the full monthly child tax credit payment you’re owed, at least not right away. The IRS said you will be able to update your income and dependent status so the agency is using your most recent info when calculating payments. One of the upcoming IRS portals will be designed for people who don’t usually file taxesRead more>>


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