It’s that time of month again—when you can expect child tax credit payments to show up in your bank accounts.
The third payments of 2021 are scheduled to go out to the parents of roughly 60 million children in September, courtesy of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). They offer a welcome source of fiscal relief for struggling families at a time when some pandemic-era aid programs—such as boosted unemployment benefits—have already ended, and others, including extra food stamp dollars and student loan deferrals, are coming up on their expiration dates.
If you’re among the households waiting for a payment, here’s what to know:
HOW MUCH AM I GETTING?
This round includes $300 for each child under age 6, and $250 for each child age 6 to 17.
WHEN WILL I GET IT?
Payments are released on September 15. The vast majority of recipients should have the funds via direct deposit that same day. Others should find a paper check in their mailbox between a few days and a week later.
MY BANK ACCOUNT OR MAILING ADDRESS HAS CHANGED! WHAT DO I DO?
Use the IRS Child Tax Credit Update Portal to submit new bank details or home addresses.
MY FAMILY SITUATION HAS CHANGED—I HAD A CHILD IN 2021! WHAT DO I DO?
Stay tuned: The IRS has said it would allow such updates to be made through its Child Tax Credit Portal starting in “late summer.” When it’s ready, you should see that option appear on the website. You must officially enroll your new child to claim those credits for this year.
MY INCOME HAS CHANGED—I GOT A MAJOR WAGE BUMP! WHAT DO I DO?
If your income grew significantly—enough to disqualify you for the credits—make sure to report it via the Child Tax Credit Portal to avoid having to repay any overpayments to the IRS when filing your 2021 tax return next year.
HOW DO I TRACK MY PAYMENTS?
For your future September payment—or you’re still waiting for a payment from July or August—you can use the Child Tax Credit Portal to check if they were sent or are pending. If a payment is listed as delivered but it’s nowhere to be found, and it’s been at least five days since a direct deposit or four weeks since a paper check was mailed, you can request a payment trace here.
WHEN IS THE REST COMING?
The final three payments are scheduled for October 15, November 15, and December 15.
I DON’T LIKE THIS SYSTEM! DO I HAVE ANY OPTIONS?
You can still opt out of the last three payments, and instead collect the same amount as a lump sum in 2022. The first deadline for doing so is October 4. You can use—you guessed it—the Child Tax Credit Portal.