Monthly Tax Credit Payments to Help 65 Million Children

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65 million

Corrects headline and first paragraph to say 65 million children are affected.

That’s how many children—88% of all children in the U.S.—live in households that will automatically begin receiving monthly child tax credit payments starting in July, the government said Monday. 

Because of an enhanced federal child tax credit for 2021, households with children at home will begin getting monthly installments of up to $250 per child ($300 for a child 5 or under) on July 15, the IRS said in a statement, giving a more specific date to early guidance that the payments would arrive in July. In most cases, the payments, which will continue on or around the 15th of every month, will come via direct deposit, check, or debit card, requiring no action from taxpayers. (For those who won’t receive it automatically, the IRS will continue outreach efforts to make families aware of who is eligible, the agency said.)

Created by the American Rescue Plan Act, President Joe Biden’s signature achievement, the expanded child tax credit gives eligible families up to $3,600 per child ($3,600 for children 5 and under and $3,000 for children 6 to 17), depending on their income. That’s up from the $2,000 per-child maximum that was authorized for the 2020 tax year. Biden has proposed extending it through 2025 as part of his American Families Plan legislation. 

The monthly payments, an advance on the 2021 tax year, should help recipients plan their budgets, officials said. The remaining half of the credit can be claimed on tax returns next year, as they normally are.