Millions of American families, at least some of which are no doubt hoping for a new stimulus check, are about to get two very important letters in the mail soon.
Receipt of the letters is an automatic step in receiving the first of what will be several new stimulus checks, but don’t worry if you overlook the letters or miss them somehow. They’re informative, but not a prerequisite, about the forthcoming payments that are set up to arrive in mailboxes and bank accounts, provided the recipients have done at least one very important thing — filed their 2020 federal tax return. The IRS is urging everyone to make sure they’re current on that, because it will ensure that once the new stimulus checks start being distributed, the tax agency can ensure it has the most current and up-to-date information as far as where to send the payments. And those payments, by the way, are monthly tranches of the expanded federal child tax credit, which was made possible by the $1.9 trillion stimulus legislation President Biden signed back in March. So that’s another reason making sure you’re current on your taxes is so important, which will ensure the IRS has current details about your eligible children for this new stimulus benefit.
The IRS earlier this week said in a news release that families should expect two letters from the tax agency in advance of receiving the first child tax credit stimulus payment, on July 15. The first letter will simply let a family know they’re eligible to receive these payments — something that applies to roughly 36 million US families, covering 88% of the country’s children.
The second letter will be more personalized, telling the families an idea of what size payment to expect.
Families with children, however, should more or less be able to estimate that themselves in advance. The federal child tax credit expansion now means families can receive up to $3,600 for each eligible child, and that amount will be broken down into monthly payments. What that means is they’ll receive a monthly check of as much as $300 for every qualifying child under the age of 6, and up to $250 per month for every qualifying child between the ages of 6 and 17.
That’s the “what.” What about the “when?”
Circle these dates on your calendar: July 15, August 13, September 15, October 15, November 15, and December 15. Those are the dates when the IRS will issue the payments, and no, the August date is not a typo. The 15th falls on a Sunday that month, so the tax agency is backing up the date to the Friday before.
In its news release from earlier this week, the IRS adds that “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 (the) 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.”