(CBS Philadelphia) – The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) sent the updated Child Tax Credit advance payments on July 15. According to the White House, first round totals 15 billion dollars and will reach households that account for 60 million children. By midday on Thursday, the money appeared in everyone’s bank accounts via direct deposit. This process will continue today and possibly early next week, depending on the bank. Mailing a check may take a little longer, due to irregularities in the US postal system. Future payments will be made monthly through the end of the year, thanks to the American Rescue Plan passed in March.
Families are allowed to use the Child Tax Credit as they see fit. That means $250 or $300 per child can be spent on necessities like food or rent. It can also be used to purchase a new computer, which the pandemic has taught is necessary for distance learning. Other households could apply this money to piano lessons, daycare or even diapers. Regardless, knowing that extra income will come monthly allows for a measure of security and flexibility in a world full of surprises.
How much should your check?
The IRS will pay a total of $3,600 per child to parents of children under age 5. That number drops to $3,000 for each child ages 6 to 17. Half of the total is paid as six monthly payments and half as a 2021 tax credit. The IRS paid one $500 times for dependents 18 years old or full-time college students up to 24 years old.
The greatest value #Children tax credit was increased in 2021 to $3,600 for children under 6 years old and to $3,000 for children 6 to 17 years old. #IRS information about upcoming monthly payments at https://t.co/X085xjOZka pic.twitter.com/7J847Yk4j3
– IRSnews (@IRSnews) July 14, 2021
The Child Tax Credit is updated based on the parents’ revised adjusted gross income (AGI), as reflected on their 2020 tax return. (AGI is the sum of wages, interest, dividends, alimony, retirement distributions, and other sources of income minus some deductions, such as student loan interest, alimony payments, and retirement contributions.) out phase at $50 for every $1,000 of annual income in excess of $75,000 for an individual and more than $150,000 for a married couple. The benefit is fully refundable, meaning it is independent of the recipient’s current tax burden. Eligible families will receive the full amount, regardless of what taxes they owe. There is no limit to the number of dependents that can be claimed.
For example, let’s say a married couple has a three-year-old and a seven-year-old and shows a joint annual income of $120,000 for their 2020 taxes. The IRS is sending them $550 per month. It’s $300 per month ($3,600/12) for younger kids and $250 per month ($3,000/12) for older kids. Those payments will last through December. After that, the couple will receive a balance of $3,300 – $1,800 ($300 X 6) for the young child and $1,500 ($250 X 6) for the child. older children – as part of their 2021 tax refund.
Parents of an out-of-age child are paid a lower amount. That means if a five-year-old turns six in 2021, the parents will get a total of $3,000 in credit for the whole year, not $3,600. Likewise, if a 17-year-old turns 18 in 2021, the parents will receive $500, not $3,000.
Increasing income in 2021 to an amount above the $75,000 ($150,000) threshold can reduce a household’s Child Tax Credit. The IRS has confirmed that it will soon allow claimants to adjust their income and guardianship information online, thereby reducing their payments. Failure to do so could increase your tax bill or decrease your tax refund when you file your 2021 taxes.
Eligibility requires that the dependent has been a member of the household for at least half of the year and is supported by at least half of the taxpayer. Taxpayers earning over $95,000 ($170,000) – where the Credit is completely eliminated – will not enough condition for extended credit. But they can still claim the existing $2,000 credit per child.
Eligible families should have received their eligibility letter in the first half of June. Part of it reads “If you are eligible to receive advance payments to CTC and want to receive these payments, you do not need to take any action. You will receive a letter with more details”. The second letter estimated the amount that should have arrived earlier this week.
How do you make changes to future payments?
The IRS has three different tools to help recipients and potential recipients update their information on filing, registration, and eligibility checks.
Child tax credit update portal
The Child tax credit update portal allows users to ensure that they are registered to receive payments in advance. It also allows recipients to unsubscribe from prepayments for a one-time credit when filing taxes in 2021. The next deadline is August 2. (The next opt-out period for future payments will occur three days before the first Thursday of the month in which a person opt-out.)
Here are the remaining opt-out deadlines:
- Payout date: August 13 / Opt-out deadline: August 2
- Payment date: September 15 / Opt-out deadline: August 30
- Payout date: October 15 / Opt-out deadline: October 4
- Payout date: November 15 / Opt-out deadline: November 1
- Payment date: December 15 / Opt-out deadline: November 29
The tool also allows users to add or modify bank account information for direct deposit. Other features of the portal include viewing payment history and updating dependents. To access this portal, users need an IRS username or an ID.me account. ID.me is a login service used by various government agencies, including the IRS, the Social Security Administration, and the Treasury Department, to authenticate users. Users need a valid photo ID to create an account.
Nonpayer Child Tax Credit Application Tool
The Nonpayer Child Tax Credit Application Tool is to help parents of children born before 2021 who would not normally file a tax return but qualify for Child Tax Credit payments first. That means parents who haven’t filed their 2020 taxes are not required to and do not plan to file. (Parents who have declared their dependents on their 2019 tax return should not use this tool.)
Users enter their personal information, including name, mailing address, email address, date of birth, relevant social security number, bank account information, and an identity protection PIN. The IRS uses the information to check eligibility and, once confirmed, initiates payments. The IRS and experts recommend using this tool on a desktop or laptop computer rather than a mobile device.
Child Tax Credit Eligibility Assistant
The Child Tax Credit Eligibility Assistant Allows parents to check if they are eligible to receive Child Tax Credit prepayments. Users will need a copy of their 2020 tax return or, excluding, their 2019 tax return. You can also estimate income and expenses from the appropriate tax year, although the results may not be exact. The assistant asks many questions to determine eligibility, but does not ask for sensitive information. No entries were recorded.