Most U.S. families will receive increased child tax credits this year as part of the American Rescue Plan enacted earlier this year by President Joe Biden.
According to the White House, starting on July 15, nearly all working families will start seeing $250 to $300 per child automatically deposited in their bank accounts or sent to their mailboxes.
The plan increased the child tax credit payments from $2,000 per child to $3,000 per child for children over the age of six and from $2,000 to $3,600 for children under the age of six -- and made the payments automatic and monthly for most, instead of as a lump sum.
So, for every child 6-17 years old, families will get $250 each month, and for every child under 6 years old, families will get $300 each month.
Who qualifies for the child tax credit?
Couples making less than $150,000 and single parents making less than $112,500 qualify for the full benefit. Those with higher incomes may qualify for a smaller benefit or no benefit. (More here from the IRS)
How to claim your benefit
If you filed your 2019 or 2020 tax return, or if you signed up for stimulus payments using the IRS’s Non-filer tool last year, you’re all set.
For those who didn’t earn enough income to be required to pay taxes, you can use the Non-Filers tool to sign up for the child tax credit. If you’re late filing taxes, you can still file a return to get monthly child tax credit payments in 2021.
What about next year?
The increased benefit is only for 2021, as it stands. There are efforts to extend it, but the future of an expanded child tax credit is unclear.
Will this affect any other benefits?
No. Receiving child tax credit payments is not considered income for any family. Therefore, it will not change the amount you receive in other Federal benefits. These Federal benefits include unemployment insurance, Medicaid, SNAP, SSI, SSDI, TANF, WIC, Section 8, or Public Housing.
For more info, visit the IRS page on child tax credits here.