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$3,600 in new stimulus checks start hitting your bank account sooner than you realize

Published Jun 8th, 2021 1:41PM EDT
New stimulus check
Image: Jeff McCollough/Adobe

In a little over a month from now, millions of American families are going to start receiving the first of what will be a new stimulus check distributed each month for the rest of this year. We’ve been previewing this new round of direct stimulus payments in posts for a while now — basically, they stem from an expansion of the federal child tax credit, which will give families up to $3,600 spread over a year for each eligible dependent child, with those payments starting on July 15.

And while this is such a massive undertaking, adding a new regular payment scheme to the IRS’ normal collection efforts, there’s some good news for families wondering how and if this affects them: The tax agency is in the process of just straight-up telling families beforehand to expect a check as part of this new recurring payment benefit.

The IRS on Monday said it’s begun sending out letters to more than 36 million American families, which also encompasses more than 88% of children in the US. The letters are meant to let them know that the payments are coming, and when to expect them. This way, there presumably shouldn’t be guesswork involved beforehand about whether a family is eligible or not. The letters are being sent 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 last year to register for an Economic Impact Payment,” the IRS explains.

“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.”

Key details to know:

  • The monthly federal child tax credit stimulus payments are going to be sent out to families either by paper check or as an electronic direct deposit into a bank account. The latter will depend on whether the IRS already has the family’s necessary information.
  • The amount of the monthly payment will be as much as $300 for each qualifying child under age 6 and up to $250 per month for each qualifying child between the ages of 6 to 17.
  • The payments are set to begin on July 15, and the 15th is also the date in subsequent months when families should receive their later checks through the end of this year — except in August, when the 15th falls on a Sunday, in which case Friday, August 13, will be the payment date. So the full payment date lineup through the end of 2021, according to the IRS, is as follows: July 15, August 13, September 15, October 15, November 15, and December 15.

Additionally, the IRS says that later this year both individuals and families will be able to visit a new “Child Tax Credit Update Portal” to notify the tax agency 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.”

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.

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