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$ 3,600 Child Discount: How and When the Checks Will Arrive, 1 Important Thing to Know


Details on child discount payments are still unknown, but they are expected to start in July. This is what we now know.

Sarah Tew / CNET

There are many question marks surrounding the child discount for 2021 redefined (CTC), but one thing we do know is that families with children up to 24 years old could see a significant cash boost from the federal government in the next 12 months. Together with the $ 1,400 stimulus checks that the IRS is now sending to more than 130 million qualified adults and families (calculate your stimulus total), President Joe Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion US bailout plan enables CTC payments to benefit families this summer.

The IRS has already drawn up an outline who counts as a qualified child and what the income limit is for parents to receive the CTC of up to $ 3,600 per child. But there are still uncertainties about how you will be paid and how often those CTC checks arrive. The different rules for dependent age groups can quickly get confusing (here’s some parents who share custody need to knowAnd details are still missing about what happens when you pay too much and why payments are split between 2021 and 2022.

The exact details and timeline have not yet been determined while the IRS is in the process process stimulus controls and tax returns at the same time. We therefore do not expect the roll-out of the child discount only after the new tax deadline of May 17 is behind us. However, here’s everything we know about CTC payments so far. If you waiting for your check for $ 1,400, you can track your payment here here is the status of a potential fourth stimulus controlThis story is regularly updated.

Important: CTC payments are split between 2021 and 2022

The first thing to know is that you will not receive your CTC payments all at once this year. As with your taxes, the child rebate under the Incentive Act is for 2021. The “credit” portion means that the amount you owe in your taxes will be reduced by the “credit” you get from your eligible family members . That can lower your payment to the IRS for your 2021 taxes (filed in 2022) or your tax refund for 2021Normally, you would receive that “credit” as a tax refund in 2022. But the plan is to get you money sooner, which is why the checks will come in as “prepayments” in 2021.

This logic also explains why your 2021 child discount is split into two parts. The first part, in 2021, is the advance that you can start with immediately. The second part applies to your 2021 taxes – which were filed in 2022. Yes, it’s confusing. Hopefully, we’ll answer some of your questions below.

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How exactly is your child discount distributed?

The amount you receive is half of what you owe under the new incentive account, and you will receive the other half of the payment with your 2021 tax refund, filed in 2022.

When paid out monthly, payments are up to $ 300 per month for each eligible child aged 5 and under, and up to $ 250 per month for each child between the ages of 6 and 17. Note that this amount is gradually disappearing for those with higher incomes – for single people who earn more than $ 75,000 per year, householders who earn more than $ 112,500 per year, and married couples who earn more than $ 150,000 per year.

So if you qualify for $ 3,000 and you have one dependent, you would get an estimated $ 250 a month from July to December, for a total of $ 1,500. You must then claim the remainder of your child tax credit when you file your taxes for 2021 next year (2022). Here’s more about the financial breakdown for qualified dependents

Child discount amount 2021

Age Amount you could get per child

Age 5 and under

Up to $ 3,600, or $ 300 per month with monthly payouts

Ages 6-17

Up to $ 3,000, or $ 250 per month with monthly payouts

When will the first CTC payments arrive?

We have a general timeline, but the details are not yet pinned down. The American rescue plan stipulates that CTC payments will start arriving in July, but a specific date has not been released. The IRS will make additional information about the expanded children’s tax credit available “as soon as possible,” the agency said in a statement March 12.

Are child discount payments sent on a schedule?

According to the text of the incentive proposal, the child discount is paid “periodically” from July to December. However, the IRS has not shared how often it can get the checks.

Monthly delivery was a goal and was in the original language used in previous versions of the incentive law. But the language changed to “periodic,” perhaps in part because of the added burden placed on the IRS to also distribute tax returns and incentive checks. In other words, some may have found a monthly delivery cycle too ambitious or unrealistic.

“Getting straight into the month could be challenging,” said IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig when asked about the timeline.

How does the IRS send the CTC checks: direct deposit, mail, some other way?

When the payments come in, the Treasury and the IRS may very well send the payments the same way they do stimulus controls, Joanna Powell, general manager and certified financial planner at CBIZ, told CNET.

It hasn’t been confirmed by the IRS yet, but if the agency uses the same method as stimulus checks, it would work like this: direct deposit on file with the IRS, that’s how you get your payment. If not, you will receive your money as a paper checkIt is not clear whether social security beneficiaries like people in it SSI, SSDI and Veteran Programs, would receive their CTC through their Direct Express card, in the same way that millions get their third stimulus check.

How do you get your CTC money? What if you’ve already filed your taxes for 2020?

Taxpayers may not submit an amended declaration related to the new legislation and should not take any other “unnecessary steps,” the IRS said. March 12, Rettig said payments will be automatic for those who submit their 2020 tax returns before May 17, the new tax term.

However, non-filers will have to file a tax return for 2020 to get the credit, even if they don’t usually file a tax return. This tells the IRS how many dependents there are in the household that count toward the CTC benefits.

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When was the IRS portal opened to make adjustments and correct errors?

The IRS will launch an online portal by July 1, Rettig said, but the IRS only has the resources to build this after the end of the tax reporting seasonOnce the CTC Portal is available, recipients can log in to update their details if their circumstances have changed. For example, if you have a child in 2021, the IRS doesn’t have that information on file yet, so updating that information can help you get a bigger payout on the tax credit.

Do you have to return money to the IRS if you get more than you should have?

Yes. The CTC is not as flexible as the stimulus check rulesIf you receive more money than you should have, you have to pay it back. An example of this is if you and your child’s other parent (who is not your spouse) are both paid the child discount for the same dependent

When you file your tax return for 2021 (in 2022), if your tax position is not what the IRS has in its system and you were not entitled to as much as you received, you must repay the overpaid. To avoid this tax inconvenience, make sure all of your information is up to date before payments come in. Powell estimates the portal will be open ahead of time so you can make any necessary adjustments.


It is unclear whether the payments will become permanent.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Can you get the entire child discount in one go instead of several smaller benefits?

Yes, but not this year. If you thought you could cash out all the CTC money in July, you don’t. Instead, you can choose not to receive the periodic prepayments and receive a fixed amount as credit in the spring of 2022 when you file your tax return. That means you get a higher total in tax refunds or you owe the IRS less money because the credit is deducted from your total.

You can use the online portal to unsubscribe. Again, you wouldn’t receive any money until 2022.

What could happen after the 2021 CTC prepayments expire in December?

The last advance of the child discount ends on December 31, 2021 and the rest will come with the tax season in 2022. But Biden wants to make the higher payments permanent, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on March 16, “We have those discussions with Congress.”

For more information, be here Top Things to Know About the $ 3,600 Child Discount for 2021Plus, here it is how to track your tax refund and how to track your $ 1,400 stimulus check

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