IRS sending letters to more than 36 million families who may qualify for monthly Child Tax Credits; payments start July 15

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service has started sending letters to more than 36 million American families who, based on tax returns filed with the agency, may be eligible to receive monthly Child Tax Credit payments starting in July.

The expanded and newly-advanceable Child Tax Credit was authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act, enacted in March. The letters are going to families who may be eligible based on information they included in either their 2019 or 2020 federal income tax return or who used the Non-Filers tool on IRS.gov last year to register for an Economic Impact Payment.
Families who are eligible for advance Child Tax Credit payments will receive a second, personalized letter listing an estimate of their monthly payment, which begins July 15.

Most families do not need to take any action to get their payment. Normally, the IRS will calculate the payment amount based on the 2020 tax return.  If that return is not available, either because it has not yet been filed or it has not yet been processed, the IRS will instead determine the payment amount using the 2019 return.

Eligible families will begin receiving advance payments, either by direct deposit or check. The payment will be up to $300 per month for each qualifying child under age 6 and up to $250 per month for each qualifying child ages 6 to 17.The IRS will issue advance Child Tax Credit payments on July 15, Aug. 13, Sept. 15, Oct. 15, Nov. 15 and Dec. 15.

Eligible families should file tax returns soon

The IRS urges individuals and families who haven’t yet filed their 2020 return – or 2019 return – to do so as soon as possible so they can receive any advance payment they’re eligible for.

Filing soon will also ensure that the IRS has their most current banking information, as well as key details about qualifying children. This includes people who don’t normally file a tax return, such as families experiencing homelessness, the rural poor, and other under served groups.

For most people, the fastest and easiest way to file a return is by using the Free File system, available only on IRS.gov.

Throughout the summer, the IRS will be adding additional tools and online resources to help with the advance Child Tax Credit. One of these tools will enable families to unenroll from receiving these advance payments and instead receive the full amount of the credit when they file their 2021 return next year.

Additionally, later this year, individuals and families will also be able to go to IRS.gov and use a Child Tax Credit Update Portal to notify IRS of changes in their income, filing status, or number of qualifying children; update their direct deposit information; and make other changes to ensure they are receiving the right amount as quickly as possible.

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