There is still time for another batch of monthly child tax credit payments. The first three installments were sent on July 15, August 13 and September 15, while the the fourth installment is scheduled for October 15 – it’s today! The IRS will also send additional payments in November and December.
For parents who received their first child tax credit payment in July, the maximum monthly payment for each child aged 6 to 17 is $ 250 and $ 300 for each child under 6. You will not receive as much or you could be denied credit altogether. (Use the Kiplinger 2021 Child Tax Credit Calculator for an estimate of your monthly payments if you received your first payment in July.)
If you receive your first monthly payment after July, the maximum payment amount is higher. This is because you will still receive the same amount of money in 2021 (i.e. 50% of your total child tax credit for the year), but it will be paid in fewer installments. For example, the maximum monthly payment for a family that receives its first payment in October is $ 500 per child for children aged 6 to 17 and $ 600 per child for children under 6. Again, however, the wealthier families will receive less or nothing at all.
How you will receive your child tax credit payment
- Your 2019 or 2020 tax return;
- The IRS online tool used in 2020 by people who are not required to file a tax return to get a first stimulus check; Where
- A federal agency that provides you with benefits, such as the Social Security Administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs, or the Railroad Retirement Board.
If the IRS doesn’t have your bank account information, it will send you a paper check or debit card by mail.
You can use the IRS Child Tax Credit Update Portal to change the bank account information the IRS has on file. It is too late to make changes to the banking information for today’s payment (the deadline was October 4, but you can make changes for the November 15 payment before November 1. Note that the entire of your monthly payment should be deposited into one bank account – you can’t split them between multiple accounts.
Families who currently need to receive payments by mail can also sign up for direct deposit by using the Child Tax Credit Update Portal to add their bank account information (again, it’s too late to do it for today’s payment). You will be asked to provide your bank routing number and account number and indicate whether it is a savings account or a checking account. You’ll get paid much faster if you switch to direct deposit, and you won’t have to worry about the loss or theft of a paper check or debit card.
If you receive monthly child tax credit payments in the mail, you can use the portal to update your mailing address. This will help families receiving paper checks avoid mailing delays or having your payment returned as undeliverable. Again, the deadline for changing an address for today’s payment has passed, but you still have time to revise your address for future payments.
Stop monthly child tax credit payments
Some people would be better off if they did not receive monthly child tax credit payments. For example, if you want to get the highest tax refund possible when you file your tax return next year, the monthly payments will lower that refund. If you don’t qualify for the 2021 child tax credit – for example, your 2021 income is too high, someone else (for example, a former spouse) will claim your child as a dependent in 2021 , or you live outside of the United States for more than half of 2021 – you may have to repay some or all of the money you received in monthly payments when you file your return next year.
If this is your case, you can unsubscribe through the Child Tax Credit Update Portal. As you might have guessed, it’s too late to unsubscribe from today’s payment, but you can still unsubscribe from the remaining monthly payments for the year. For more information on the withdrawal process, see How and when to decline monthly child tax credit payments.