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How to make sure you get $3,600 in new stimulus checks you might be owed

Published Jun 16th, 2021 1:25PM EDT
New stimulus check
Image: Rick/Adobe

Here’s the good news about the new stimulus check that millions of Americans are set to begin receiving less than a month from now, on July 15, which is part of a new wave of payments that will ultimately include six new stimulus checks between July and the end of this year — one each month through December.

The payments are all portions of the expanded federal child tax credit benefit that President Biden signed into law back in March, as part of the $1.9 trillion stimulus legislation. And here’s one of the most important things to know about that benefit: If you qualify — which is to say, if you have eligible children — and if you filed your federal tax return by the delayed May 17 deadline this year, you don’t have to do anything at all to start receiving the first of the six new checks. Your payment will arrive automatically, with the IRS relying on whatever information it already has on file for you — either your address, for a paper check that arrives in the mail, or your banking details for an electronic direct deposit.

All told, some 39 million families are estimated to be eligible for these new payments, which encompasses 88% of the children in the US. Among the key requirements are that married couples earn $150,000 in total or less, or individuals make $75,000 or less. They’ll get $250 for each child between the ages of 6 and 17 from July through December for a total of $1,500 (6 months x $250). For each child under the age of 6, they’ll get $300 (or, $1,800 in total). As far as the remainder of the child tax credit that they’re entitled to, that will come next year as a credit when the family’s taxes are filed.

For low-income families who don’t normally file tax returns, the IRS announced this week that it’s set up an online Non-filer Sign-up tool so that those eligible families can register for the monthly child tax credit payments. Developed in partnership with Intuit and delivered through the Free File Alliance, the tax agency says that “this tool provides a free and easy way for eligible people who don’t make enough income to have an income tax return-filing obligation to provide the IRS the basic information needed — name, address, and Social Security numbers — to figure and issue their Advance Child Tax Credit payments.”

In advance of everyone receiving the new monthly payments, the IRS is sending out two waves of letters. The first letter simply lets the recipient know that they’re eligible to start receiving the payments, while the second will be more personalized — letting the recipient know how much money to expect. And as far as when each of the six payments will come, that will happen on the 15th of every month between July and December, except for the month of August — the payment date will be the 13th of that month.

Andy Meek
Andy Meek Trending News Reporter

Andy Meek is a reporter 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.