President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill included a provision that offered parents with certain income thresholds an expanded child tax credit that will be pumped out by the IRS on a monthly basis from July through December, while the rest of the credit can be claimed when they file their income tax returns next year.
The pandemic bill boosted the credit from $2,000 to $3,000 and allowed parents with children under the age of six to qualify for $3,600. The measure also permits parents of children at the age of 17 to be eligible for the credit.
Eligible recipients with children under the age of six will get $300 monthly payments per child beginning July 15, and those with children between the ages of six and 17 will receive $250 payments per child.
To track the monthly child tax credit payments, parents can use the Child Tax Credit Update Portal to see their processed monthly payment history. The portal is reportedly also able to show whether parents have received a payment and is a tool to track payments that are expected to hit their bank accounts.
It’s unclear whether the portal will display other related information, like banking information, monthly payment amount, processing dates, or reason for delay in payment.
Parents can register for the portal with their IRS username and ID.me account information, but first-time users must supply photo identification to avoid any identity theft or fraudulent behavior.
The portal can also be used to ensure all information that the IRS has on file is correct, for example, the number of dependents and income level.
To qualify for the full tax credit, individuals must earn less than $75,000, joint filers must make less than $150,000 and heads of households must earn less than $112,500. The amount will then drop by $50 for each $1,000 in income above these caps.
If families are expecting the child tax credit, it’s important to know that the IRS will be distributing it beginning on July 15, followed by August 13, September 15, October 15, November 15, and December 15.
Most of the credits will be issued by direct deposit, though some will be sent out by paper check or prepaid debit card.
Rachel Bucchino is a reporter at the National Interest. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, and The Hill.