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Final stimulus check of 2021 comes tomorrow – see if you get one

Published Dec 14th, 2021 1:37PM EST
stimulus check with cash
Image: Jeff McCollough/Adobe

Tens of millions of families will get a new stimulus check on Wednesday, December 15, which will likely be their last one of the year. It’s the sixth check and final check in a six-check series of monthly child tax credit payments that began in July. And we’ve got all the details in this post about what’s coming, why it’s important — as well as some thoughts on what’s next.

For starters, we should note how tomorrow’s stimulus check draws a line underneath what was arguably the most dramatic response from the federal government to the financial pain associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. To wit: The government basically said, here, we’ll just give people billions of dollars. Maybe that’ll staunch some of the metaphorical bleeding. As a result? Tens of millions of Americans got more than half a dozen stimulus checks over the course of this year.

Where’s my child tax credit

As far as what’s coming on Wednesday? It’s a continuation of the same checks, to most of the same people, from the past five months. We say “most,” because for a minority of recipients December’s payment will actually be their first. And will be larger than everyone else’s.

Let’s start with that second group of people.

Recipients who signed up late for the child tax credit checks, as late as November 15, are getting six months’ worth of checks in one outsized payment. Generally, that’s either $1,500 (for each child between ages 6-17) or $1,800 per eligible child under age 6. Everybody else got that money spread across six checks. Which worked out to either $250 or $300 per child each month.

Both of those groups of people who get a check tomorrow? Here are a few other things for them to know —

If this includes you, you’ll also get a companion tax credit next year. That credit will total the exact same amount you got this year, in the form of the stimulus checks. Along those lines, the IRS is sending out a letter in the mail soon to child tax credit recipients. You’ll need to refer to it when you prepare your next federal income tax return and make sure all the details match up.

More checks in 2022?

For now, January 15 will be the first mid-month date since last June when no stimulus check is forthcoming.

President Biden is pushing a $1.9 trillion spending bill that’s already passed in the House of Representatives. It includes, among other things, a 12-month extension of the child tax credit checks. But this bill is languishing in the Democrat-controlled Senate at the moment, where a couple of Democratic holdouts (mostly West Virginia’s Joe Manchin) are demanding huge changes to the bill.

Here’s the date to keep an eye on: December 28.

The IRS has told Congress that Biden’s bill, including the CTC extension, must be passed by that date in order for the monthly checks to continue on January 15, uninterrupted.

We’ll have to wait and see if Congress approves the measure as-is. In which case, fewer families will actually get the checks in 2022. That’s because the income requirements have been tweaked. Only married taxpayers earning less than $150,000 together, and heads of households making less than $112,500, would get them next year under the current language.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.