Next child tax credit payment is Sept. 15: How to opt out, check your status and more

You want to act quickly to replace your direct deposit information or mailing deal with earlier than the September payment. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

The subsequent child tax credit payment is scheduled to exit on Sept. 15. But you want to act earlier than the center of subsequent month if you need to make any modifications with the IRS — akin to opting out, altering your deal with or switching to direct deposit. This yr, qualifying families can get half of the child tax credit cash by means of month-to-month installments, with the opposite half coming in a single payout subsequent yr. Counting the September payment, that provides you 4 more checks by means of the top of 2021.

And should you resolve you do not need to make modifications with your September check, it’s possible you’ll resolve to later this yr. The IRS stated by the top of 2021, it is possible for you to to add or take away kids, report a change in your marital status and notify the tax company a few vital change in earnings — all of which might have an effect on your payment quantity.

Below, we’ll reply some frequent questions in regards to the child tax credit and let you know how to handle your family particulars by means of the web IRS portals. If you are still ready on July’s payment or obtained much less cash than anticipated, here is what would possibly be happening with your money. And here is how this yr’s advance funds might affect your taxes. You also can use CNET’s calculator to check how a lot cash your household needs to be receiving. This story is up to date repeatedly. 

When are child tax credit funds going out?

The subsequent payment is going out in a number of weeks, on Sept. 15. Remember, you will get half of the cash in month-to-month funds this yr, and the remaining in 2022 whenever you file your taxes, except you inform the IRS you need to unenroll from the advance funds to get one lump sum subsequent yr. 

So in different phrases, your single largest payment arrives subsequent yr — up to $1,800 per child. Until then, you get six smaller funds in complete this yr to begin utilizing instantly. The concept is to deliver you cash sooner to meet bills like hire, meals and day care, which is why the checks are “advance payments.” 

Child tax credit payment schedule

Monthly Maximum payment per child aged 5 and youthful Maximum payment per child aged 6 to 17
July 15: First 2021 check $300 $250
Aug. 13 $300 $250
Sept. 15 $300 $250
Oct. 15 $300 $250
Nov. 15 $300 $250
Dec. 15: Last 2021 check $300 $250
April 2022: Second half of payment $1,800 $1,500

What are the deadlines to opt out of month-to-month funds? 

Advance funds are elective, and regardless that nearly all of US households are eligible there are nonetheless households that do not qualify. If your family state of affairs is altering considerably this yr, it’s possible you’ll desire to opt out to keep away from repaying the IRS. The subsequent deadline to opt out of month-to-month funds is Aug. 30. You can use the IRS Child Tax Credit Update Portal on-line anytime between now and December to unenroll. You might want to unenroll should you do not meet earnings or different eligibility necessities. 

To cease advance checks, the IRS says you need to unenroll three days earlier than the primary Thursday of the next month. See the chart beneath for deadlines. Once you unenroll on this yr’s advance funds, you possibly can’t but reenroll, although the IRS says it’ll make that possibility obtainable later. Also observe that for {couples} who’re married and submitting collectively, every father or mother should unenroll individually.

Child tax credit payment unenrollment dates

Payment month Unenrollment deadline Payment date
July June 28 July 15
August Aug. 2 Aug. 13
September Aug. 30 Sept. 15
October Oct. 4 Oct. 15
November Nov. 1 Nov. 15
December Nov. 29 Dec. 15

How a lot are households getting this time round?

The approach the child tax credit funds can be divided between 2021 and 2022 is likely to be complicated. For every qualifying child age 5 and youthful, up to $1,800 (half the whole) will are available six $300 month-to-month funds this yr. For every child between the ages of 6 and 17, up to $1,500 will come as $250 month-to-month funds six occasions this yr. 

The IRS bases your child’s eligibility on their age on Dec. 31, 2021, so a 5-year-old turning 6 in 2021 will qualify for a most of $250 per thirty days. For each age teams, the remainder of the payment will include your 2021 tax refund whenever you declare the rest of the credit in 2022. 

If you could have a dependent who is 18 years outdated, they’ll qualify for $500 every. Dependents between the ages of 19 and 24 could qualify as properly, however they have to be enrolled in faculty full time. Here’s more on the financial details for qualified dependents

Note that some dad and mom who didn’t receives a commission in July may need changes made on their August and subsequent month-to-month funds, which might translate to larger quantities. 

What are the earnings limits for households? 

Income limits decide how a lot you’ll obtain and should you even qualify, although there is no restrict on the variety of kids you possibly can obtain tax credit for so long as you are eligible. 

Single filers incomes lower than $75,000 per yr, heads of family incomes lower than $112,500 per yr and married {couples} incomes lower than $150,000 a yr can be eligible for the full quantity. 

The quantity you will get will then section out for higher incomes. Your child tax credit funds will section out by $50 for each $1,000 of earnings over these threshold quantities, in accordance to Joanna Powell, managing director and licensed monetary planner at CBIZ. In different phrases, your household might nonetheless obtain some cash above these earnings limits, nevertheless it will not be for the utmost payment. 

2021 child tax credit most funds

Age 5 and youthful Up to $3,600, with half as $300 advance month-to-month funds
Age 6 to 17 Up to $3,000, with half as $250 advance month-to-month funds
Age 18 $500 one-time check
Age 19 to 24, full-time faculty college students $500 one-time check

Will I’ve to repay the IRS throughout tax time?

If you are eligible for advance funds and select to get the additional money this yr, you will obtain the second half of your complete on your taxes subsequent yr. You’ll want to know the whole quantity of child tax credit cash acquired in 2021 to evaluate it with how a lot you possibly can declare. The IRS will ship a letter with your customized estimate that you should utilize for your 2021 tax return. 

You could have to repay the IRS should you obtained more than you have been supposed to. The IRS might subject an “overpayment” as a result of it is basing your 2021 child tax credit quantity on older figures. If you are involved about this being the case, or should you’d desire to get the credit with your tax refund subsequent yr, you possibly can opt out of early child tax credit funds and get the cash in 2022. Here’s what to find out about how the payments impact your tax refund subsequent yr.

How can I take advantage of the IRS child tax credit portals? 

This summer season, the IRS opened its child tax credit online portals. The first portal is for folks not normally required to file an earnings tax return, together with low-income households. And the Child Tax Credit Eligibility Assistant software — obtainable in English and now in Spanish — helps households shortly decide whether or not they qualify. 

The Child Tax Credit Update Portal at the moment lets households see their eligibility, handle their funds and unenroll from the advance month-to-month funds. Parents also can replace their direct deposit data and mailing deal with utilizing the portal. In the approaching months, it’ll enable households to replace different data if their circumstances modified — for instance, if a brand new child has arrived or will arrive in 2021 and is not mirrored on your 2020 tax return. You’ll additionally have the opportunity to replace your marital status, earnings or dependents to have essentially the most up-to-date eligibility data. 

This useful PDF additionally describes what the portals do. 

What if I’m not eligible however I nonetheless obtain the cash?

Since the IRS makes use of your 2019 or 2020 tax return, your household could not qualify for the child tax credit payment whenever you file your 2021 tax return in 2022. In this case, you might have to repay the IRS some or all of the credit. The child tax credit guidelines aren’t as versatile because the stimulus check rules relating to overpayment. One instance of when this is able to occur is should you and the opposite father or mother of your child (who is not your partner) have been both paid for the child tax credit for the same dependent.

To keep away from this tax inconvenience, ensure all your data is up to date earlier than the funds begin arriving. The Update Portal will quickly allow you to make changes to confirm your new earnings and variety of kids. 

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What if my July or August payment is missing?

One thing to keep in mind is that the IRS is targeting the payment dates (see above). If you have direct deposit set up with the IRS, you might see a pending payment before the actual closing date. That means you might not be able to access the money right away, but that it’s in process.

Unfortunately, this month’s advance credit isn’t without the usual hiccups. Around 15% of families that received last month’s payment by direct deposit will be mailed paper checks because of a technical issue that should be resolved before September payments go out. 

It could take longer for your payment to arrive if you’re receiving the check by mail. Many families who were expecting to see their August payment come by direct deposit will be getting a paper check instead this month. If enough time has passed and you’re concerned there may be a problem, you can use the IRS Update Portal to correct your direct deposit information. You can also file an IRS payment trace if you’re worried. Check here for more information about missing payments

If I didn’t file my taxes can I still receive payments?

Payments will be automatic for those who filed their 2020 tax returns by the May 17 deadline (or those who claimed all dependents on a 2019 tax return). Parents who didn’t file taxes should use the new IRS tool, called the “Non-filer Sign-up tool,” to get their money, even if you’re not usually required to file. This will let the IRS know your income level and how many dependents are in your household who count toward the child tax credit benefits. You could also file a tax return to get the full monthly child tax credit payment you’re owed. 


Parents who get too much child tax credit money this year may have to repay the IRS. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Does my newborn qualify for advance payments this year? 

If you have a baby in 2021, your newborn will count toward the child tax credit payment of $3,600. Children who are adopted can also qualify if they’re US citizens. You’ll be able to update the IRS on a new dependent once that aspect of the Update Portal is available. 

Can I still get payments if I share custody of a child?

For the first two stimulus checks, some parents who shared custody of a child but weren’t married to each other were entitled to each claim money for the same child. That was only if they alternated years for claiming the dependent — in other words, if one parent claimed the child on their taxes in odd years and the other claimed the child on their taxes in even years.

This is no longer allowed for the third check, and we’re told it won’t work that way for the child tax credit payments either. Here’s what we know so far about child tax credit and shared custody situations.

If the child switches homes this year, the parents will need to agree on who will claim the child on their taxes this year. The parent that claims the child and receives the child tax credit payments will need to fill out Form 8332 and include it with the tax return. If you don’t qualify or want to get the money in one lump sum, you can also opt out of early payments. Remember, if you’re not eligible but receive the money, you may have to pay the IRS back during tax time.

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