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Stimulus check update: $3,600 is coming in 2022 and you might qualify to get it

Published Jan 4th, 2022 1:21PM EST
stimulus check with IRS form
Image: Rick/Adobe

At this point in 2022, the stimulus check story is actually proceeding down two tracks. The first one to note is the obvious one — the one everybody is interested in. It entails the possibility of all-new stimulus checks at some point this year. As in, will we get them or not? And when? Along those lines, everyone is still waiting to see what the Senate will do about the possibility of a year-long child tax credit extension. Something the body left unfinished as 2021 drew to a close, with West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin saying in an interview that his crucial vote on the package would be a “no,” throwing the whole process into chaos.

Meanwhile, there’s also a second track the stimulus check story is proceeding down in 2022. It involves at least one benefit from last year that’s already guaranteed for this year. It will get some people as much as $3,600. And we’ll tell you all about it below.

Child tax credit stimulus update

If you’ll recall from all our child tax credit coverage in 2021, Congress got a bit creative in how it structured the payout of that expanded benefit. Lawmakers essentially sliced it in half. Recipients got the first half up front, in 2021, spread out over six monthly checks.

The second half, however, is still coming later this year.

All of those recipients who got six child tax credit checks in 2021? They’re also getting that same cumulative amount in the form of a tax credit. One that they can use when they file their federal taxes this year. For millions of Americans, they’ll either be taking a $1,500 or $1,800 credit per child. That’s what those six checks added up to (either $1,500 or $1,800 in total, depending on the age of your child).

A $3,600 tax credit this year

Some recipients, however, decided that for whatever reason they didn’t need or want the six monthly checks upfront. In that case, they’re getting the child tax credit instead as a lump-sum benefit this year.

As a reminder, for every child under the age of 6, a family could get an expanded child tax credit of as much as $3,600. Meaning, if those families decided to forgo the monthly checks? They can still get that $3,600 this year as a tax credit, never mind that the Senate has still not acted to re-up the monthly payments this year.

The same is true, by the way, if any families eligible for the lower tier of the expanded child tax credit choose a lump-sum benefit this year. They could get up to $3,000, if they, too, decided to forgo the monthly payments last year.

Additional coverage

Needless to say, this whole situation is still subject to change, so you’ll want to follow our regular coverage as much as possible. Check out some of our recent posts below if you want to read the latest information about a potential fourth stimulus check and more along these lines:

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.