How long will the child tax credit payments last? Could they be extended? What there is to know

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Monthly payments continue until December, and a payment comes in during tax season next year.

Sarah Tew / CNET

After millions of families received their third child tax credit check this month they will have three more monthly payments this year and one next year. Due to changes to the US bailout to help families, households receive 50% of the total credit in six advance payments through 2021, and the rest with a tax refund in 2022. The amounts are larger than previous years – up to $ 3,000 annually for each child aged 6 to 17, and up to $ 3,600 per year for each child under 6 years old. In addition, the 2021 credit is fully refundable so that low-income parents can be entitled to the maximum amount.

A recent study published by the Urban Institute shows that if the child tax credit is extended beyond 2021, it could significantly reduce child poverty in the vast majority of US states. Other studies have valued that this year’s improved credit alone would reduce the number of children living in poverty by about 40%. It is possible that the revamped perk will run until 2025, but that depends on the latest democratic law in the House, which proposes that it be part of a massive $ 3.5 trillion spending plan. This month, more than 400 economists signed a letter to Congress calling on lawmakers to do permanent enhanced credit.

Until it becomes final law, there are still several deadlines for the remainder of this year’s credit that parents should be aware of. For example, families who choose to opt out of the early payment program must do so by October 4 – here’s why you might want to unsubscribe. It’s also a good idea for families to update their bank details or mailing address through the IRS. Update the portal sooner rather than later. And here’s what to know if you’ve received the wrong payment amount.

How many child tax credit payments are left?

After the September payment, the IRS has three more rounds of advance partial payments to send to those who qualify. Here are the payment dates to follow from October to December 2021 and in 2022:

  • October 15
  • November 15
  • Dec 15 (last installment of 2021)
  • Tax season 2022 (rest of the money)

Once you receive the monthly payments the IRS sends you this year, the rest of your money will come with your tax refund in 2022, after you file your 2021 tax return next spring. While the IRS has extended the 2020 and 2021 tax filing dates due to the pandemic, you typically have the end of January through April 15 to file.

What are the deadlines for unsubscribing from advance checks?

If you decide to unsubscribe from monthly payments this year you still have time to have the rest of your child tax credit money for the next tax season. You can decide to unsubscribe, for example, if you think you should refund money when you file your taxes in 2022.

Note that the IRS opt-out deadlines are approximately two weeks before the payment dates. If you miss a deadline for one set of checks, your changes will take effect with the next set. And these are the same deadlines that you must meet to make other changes to your account, such as adding your banking information or changing your mailing address. While the Update Portal does not yet allow you to change your income, marital status, and number of dependents, you should be able to do so before the October deadline.

The IRS has said that if you unsubscribe and change your mind later, you can re-register in late September. Here are the remaining dates you will need to unsubscribe from:

  • Oct 4 (for October payment)
  • November 1 (for November payment)
  • November 29 (for December payment)

Could Child Tax Credit Payments Be Extended?

Given the popularity of the program with millions of families, the credit may be extended for at least a few years. House Democrats recently tabled a proposal to keep the increased allowance until 2025. This would also allow low-income families who don’t earn enough tax owing to get the allowance. Some are seeking to approve its extension in the spending bill through a process known as budget reconciliation, which requires a simple majority vote in the Senate.

But Congressional Democrats are divided on the benefits. In a CNN interviewWest Virginia Senator Joe Manchin expressed reservations, saying he would prefer parents to be eligible to receive the credit only if they work and file taxes. His vote is essential for the bill to pass in the Senate.

According to an Insider report, other Democrats are considering extension of the current child tax credit payment program until 2024 instead, but the amount of money would be lower than this year’s payments, that is, it would revert to lower amounts from previous years.

Meanwhile, a Washington-based think tank called the Biparty Policy Center presented its own proposal for a permanent expansion of the child tax credit. And on September 15, more than 400 leading economists sent an open letter urging Congress to make enhanced credit permanent. The letter noted that the benefit would help families with immediate needs, such as food and utilities, and could significantly improve children’s health and education.

Can I calculate my credit before tax season?

To help you file your taxes next year and claim the amount the IRS still owes you or – much less likely – refund money you received but were not eligible, the IRS will send you a letter in January 2022 with the full amount of the child tax credit you received in 2021. You will use the information from this letter, which the IRS calls the letter 6419 when you file your tax return.

To find out more, here’s everything you need to know about the 2021 child tax credit and what if you need it hunt down a missing payment. Here is also what we know about the spending bills that go through Congress could mean for you.


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