The final opportunity is fast approaching for families to benefit from, if they haven’t yet, one of the most extraordinary actions the federal government has taken in response to the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic. For anyone who hasn’t yet started getting the monthly child tax credit checks in 2021 for whatever reason, time is running out on the chance to do so.
As a reminder, the massive $1.9 trillion stimulus law President Biden signed earlier this year not only funded a third stimulus check (for $1,400). It also temporarily expanded the child tax credit. Normally, that benefit is paid out as a tax credit when parents of eligible children file their federal tax returns. But because of the COVID-19 crisis, lawmakers got creative in structuring a temporary increase. Half of that increase got paid out as an advance, spread over six checks this year between July and December.
Important IRS deadline
Some eligible families, for a variety of reasons, haven’t started getting any of the six checks yet. If that group includes you, here’s what you need to do if you want to get this advancement payment from the IRS before the end of 2021.
Visit GetCTC.org and sign up for the enhanced tax credit before November 15. That site was developed by the Treasury Department and Code for America, and it’s for families who have eligible children but didn’t get the checks automatically yet.
Child tax credit 2021 schedule
In terms of the schedule for the remaining child tax credit payments, meanwhile, there are two regularly scheduled checks left in 2021.
The first comes in less than a week — on Monday, November 15. After that, one final check arrives exactly one month later, on December 15. And after December, there’s also a companion benefit coming in 2022.
Remember, this year’s six checks were only partial advance payments. The rest of a family’s tax credit will come next year when they file their federal tax return. That tax credit next year should equal all six checks the family got this year. And there might also still be good news beyond that.
The Biden administration is pushing for a 1-year extension of the child tax credit expansion. If Congress goes along? Then we’ll see all this play out next year, with another year’s worth of these monthly checks. But the details are not yet final, as Congress is still working this out as part of a larger piece of legislation.
More stimulus check news
If you’d like even more updates on the child tax credit 2021 and other stimulus checks, we’ve got you covered. Don’t miss our earlier coverage highlighted here:
- Fourth stimulus check is coming right now if you live in this state
- Stimulus check update: 430,000 unexpected payments coming and you might get one
- Fourth stimulus check up to $15,000 approved? Read the truth here
- Stimulus check update: Thousands of families will get $1,000 a month and you might qualify