The IRS is sending letters to more than 36 million families who may qualify for monthly payments under the federal Child Tax Credit. Under the expanded tax benefit, families may be eligible to receive up to $300 per child on a monthly basis from July 15 through December 15.
President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan expanded the Child Tax Credit from $2,000 annually to as much as $3,600 per child. It also will send monthly payments to parents of children under 18, providing what one expert has called "a baby step toward universal basic income."
The IRS said it is sending letters to families who are eligible based on either their 2019 or 2020 federal income tax return, or if they provided information using the "non-filers tool" on the IRS.gov website last year to register for a stimulus payment and qualified based on that data. The IRS said it will receive a second letter that will estimate their monthly payment amount, which will begin hitting bank accounts on July 15.
Most families won't need to take steps to ensure they receive the child tax credit, the IRS said. That's because the agency will base the payments on the tax information they already have on hand. For parents, the payments will amount to:
The payments will be issued by the IRS on July 15, August 13, September 15, October 15, November 15 and December 15.
The monthly checks will be provided for families whose adjusted gross income, or AGI, falls under certain income thresholds. The IRS said those cutoffs are:
Modified AGI can be found on Line 11 of a taxpayer's 2020 Form 1040 or 1040-SR, the IRS said.