CHILD tax credit payments worth up to $300 a month have started going out to millions of parents.
The support is part of Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan as the country recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.
Families started receiving the child tax credit payments from yesterday (July 15) and will get them each month until December.
The rest is is given as a lump sum next year after you’ve filed your tax return.
The stimulus will be paid automatically to families who have filed taxes for 2019 or 2020 and meet the income and age requirements.
The check is worth up to $300 for each child aged under six, or $3,600 annually.
And for each child aged over that but under 17 it’s worth $250 or $3,000 per year.
Who’s eligible for child tax credits?
MOST families are eligible for child tax credit (CTC), as long as the children are either a US citizen, US national, or a so-called US resident alien.
The children must also have lived with the person who’s claiming for more than half of the tax year and be claimed as a dependent on the tax return.
The entire credit is fully refundable for 2021.
This means that eligible families can get it, even if they owe no federal income tax.
Previously, the refundable portion was limited to $1,400 per child.
The maximum credit is available to taxpayers with a modified adjusted gross income (AGI) of:
- $75,000 or less for singles,
- $112,500 or less for heads of household and
- $150,000 or less for married couples filing a joint return and qualified widows and widowers.
If you earn more than this, the extra amount above the original $2,000 credit — either $1,000 or $1,600 per child — is reduced by $50 for every $1,000 in modified AGI.
Most taxpayers have previously been able to cut their federal tax bill by up to $2,000 per child – but the amounts have been boosted this year due to Covid.
If you think you’ll get one and are wondering where the payment is, there’s an easy way to find out when you’ll get it.
How to track your child tax credit payment
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has a child tax credit checker which you can use to track the progress of your payment.
It’s similar to the one you might have used to track previous payments, like stimulus checks and tax refunds.
Now payments have started you’ll be able to use it to see your processed monthly payment history.
It could be a handy way to track payments that haven’t hit your bank account yet but should have.
However, it’s not yet clear whether the portal will show other details, such as the processing date and what could be causing a delay.
To check on your payments online, you’ll need to register with your IRS username and ID.me account information.
If you haven’t used it before, you’ll need to register using a photo ID.
What can delay my child tax credit payment?
If you’re eligible for the child tax credits but haven’t got it yet, it’s worth double-checking the information the IRS has first.
It’s important to check that there are no errors, including in your account information and routing numbers.
You can choose to get your payment sent directly to your bank account, otherwise it will be by post.
By signing up for direct deposit, you’ll get the cash sooner compared to if you receive it by paper check.
And checks may delayed in the post, or could get stolen or lost too.
If you do provide your bank details or update existing ones this won’t take effect until the August payment.
What can I do if I don’t get my child tax credit payment?
If you know that your payment has been issued but you haven’t received it, you can request a payment trace from the IRS, if it’s been:
- Five days since the deposit date and the bank says it hasn’t received the payment
- Four weeks since the payment was mailed by check to a standard address
- Six weeks since the payment was mailed, and you have a forwarding address on file with the local post office
- Nine weeks since the payment was mailed, and you have a foreign address
To start a payment trace, mail or fax a completed Form 3911, Taxpayer Statement Regarding Refund to the IRS.
Around 40MILLION American families are eligible for the cash.
The IRS has also warned households eligible for child tax credit about scammers trying to steal their cash.
Around four million tax refunds have been sent out to Americans who overpaid on their unemployment benefits last year.