A little less than two months from now, an all-new wave of stimulus checks will start hitting millions of families’ bank accounts, in a transfer of wealth from the federal government to families with eligible children that represents one of the most sweeping actions taken to date in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Starting July 15, the IRS estimates that the first of about 39 million households will start receiving payments that will end up, over the course of a year, totaling as much as $3,600 for each eligible child. There may or may not be a fourth stimulus check approved by the Biden administration anytime soon, but put your thoughts about that aside for now — whatever stimulus check update comes next from Uncle Sam, it’s not likely to be as generous as this one. What these imminent payments represent is an expansion of the federal tax credit, which previously amounted to $2,000 over the course of a year. These amounts are per child, by the way, and what’s interesting about the payments is the potential base of recipients herein — we’re talking about families, so there’s a huge population of people who are eligible for this money.
These expanded federal child tax credit payments are also much better than the three previous rounds of stimulus checks for many reasons. One is that the child tax credit payments are more than double the size of the biggest previous stimulus check, which was $1,400. The Trump administration, as you’ll recall, sent out two stimulus checks in 2020, for $1,200 and $600, with President Biden’s administration following up with a third round of $1,400 checks earlier this year.
Here are additional highlights to know about the new forthcoming stimulus checks:
- Most families won’t need to do anything to start receiving the child tax credit payments. The IRS will use the payment information that it already has on file.
- As noted above, the IRS estimates these payments will go out to some 39 million households, which include about 88% of children in the US.
- In aggregate, the payments will total up to $3,600 for children under the age of 6 and $3,000 for children between ages 6 and 17.
- By the IRS’ figures, households covering more than 65 million children “will receive the monthly CTC payments through direct deposit, paper check, or debit cards, and IRS and Treasury are committed to maximizing the use of direct deposit to ensure fast and secure delivery,” according to an announcement from the tax agency. It continues: “While most taxpayers will not be required to take any action to receive their payments, Treasury and the IRS will continue outreach efforts with partner organizations over the coming months to make more families aware of their eligibility.”
- Lastly, it’s also important to note that these child tax credit payments will be made on the 15th of each month, unless the 15th falls on a weekend or holiday. Eligible families will receive a payment of up to $300 per month for each child under age 6 and up to $250 per month for each child between age 6 and 17.