Time is running out for child tax credit checks this year
Millions of American families with children have received four monthly payments thanks to the new and improved child tax credit.
But for families who have yet to register for the benefit but have not done so, time is running out.
This is because after December, families will have to file an income tax return and wait to get the full credit in the form of a refund from the IRS. On the flip side, families who claim the credit now will get money up front and get the second half when they file their 2021 taxes next year.
There is also a limited window for families with eligible children to enroll if they haven’t received checks automatically. The GetCTC.org site, launched by Code for America in collaboration with the US Department of the Treasury and the White House, will only be available until November 15.
“If parents have not yet received payment and are entitled to it, it is not too late to enroll,” said Ashley Burnside, policy analyst at the Center for Law and Social Policy.
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Families who sign up for the credit now will see larger remaining payments than those who receive them monthly since July, when the checks began.
That’s because the monthly money is an advance on a 2021 tax credit, with half to be delivered this year and the rest to come when families file their taxes next year.
The US bailout passed in March expanded the existing child tax credit, adding monthly advance payments and increasing the benefit to $ 3,000 from $ 2,000 with a $ 600 bonus for children under 6. for tax year 2021.
For a family with two children aged 5 and 7 eligible for the full credit, the amount they would receive is $ 6,600 ($ 3,000 for the 7-year-old plus $ 3,600 for the 5-year-old).
If they filed a tax return in 2019 or 2020 and benefited from direct deposit, the family began receiving the first $ 3,300 of the credit in six monthly installments of $ 550 from July to December.
But if the same family doesn’t traditionally file their taxes because they don’t earn enough, they’ll need to register to receive the monthly payments. If the family missed the July payment but enrolled in August – as about 1 million families did – they would still receive $ 3,300 by December.
âFamilies who did not receive a payment in July or August and who receive their first monthly payment in September will still receive their full advance payment for the year up to $ 1,800 for each child under age 6 and up to $ 1,500 for each child ages 6 to 17, “the IRS said in a Sept. 15 statement, coinciding with the third monthly payment made to families.
âThis means that the total payment will be spread over four months, rather than six, which will increase each monthly payment. For these families, each payment can go up to $ 450 per month for each child under 6 and up to $ 375 per month for each child aged 6 to 17, âthe agency said.
Those who wait to enroll in November will get the entire first half of the credit in a single check in December, according to a Treasury official.
Why families should register now
Granted, if a family does not sign up for the new child tax credit this year, they will not receive advance payments, but can still get the money as a lump sum next year by completing a tax return. income.
Nonetheless, this means that they will receive the money months after it is delivered and may face delays from the IRS.
Experts say anyone with an eligible child should enroll as soon as they can, unless they are part of a family that knows they want to opt out and receive the benefit as a lump sum next year.