The Internal Revenue Service reportsd it has started sending letters to more than 36 million American families who, based on tax returns filed with the agency, may be eligible to receive monthly Child Tax Credit payments starting in July. The expanded and newly-advanceable Child Tax Credit was authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act, enacted in March.
The letters are going to families who may be eligible based on information they included in either their 2019 or 2020 federal income tax return or who used the Non-Filers tool on IRS.gov last year to register for an Economic Impact Payment. Families who are eligible for advance Child Tax Credit payments will receive a second, personalized letter listing an estimate of their monthly payment, which begins July 15.
Eligible families will begin receiving advance payments, either by direct deposit or check. The payment will be up to $300 per month for each qualifying child under age 6 and up to $250 per month for each qualifying child ages 6 to 17. The other scheduled dates for these payments are August 13, September 15, October 15, November 15 and December 15.
Most families do not need to take any action to get their payment. Normally, the IRS will calculate the payment amount based on the 2020 tax return. If that return is not available, either because it has not yet been filed or processed, the IRS will instead determine the payment amount using the 2019 return. The IRS urges individuals and families who haven't yet filed their 2020 return – or 2019 return – to do so as soon as possible so they can receive any advance payment they're eligible for.
Filing soon will also ensure that the IRS has their most current banking information, as well as key details about qualifying children. This includes people who don't normally file a tax return, such as families experiencing homelessness, the rural poor, and other underserved groups.
For most people, the fastest and easiest way to file a return is by using the Free File system, available only on IRS.gov.
The IRS has created a special Advance Child Tax Credit 2021 page at IRS.gov/childtaxcredit2021, designed to provide the most up-to-date information about the credit and the advance payments.
In the next few weeks, the page will also feature other useful new online tools, including:
- An interactive Child Tax Credit eligibility tool to help families determine whether they qualify for the Advance Child Tax Credit payments.
- Another tool, the Child Tax Credit Update Portal, will initially enable anyone who has been determined to be eligible for advance payments to unenroll or opt out of the advance payment program. Later this year, it will allow people to check on the status of their payments, make updates to their information, and be available in Spanish. More details will be available soon about the online Child Tax Credit Update Portal.