Yes, You Might Be Eligible For a $3,600 'Stimulus Check.' Here's How.
Every month from July until the end of the year, qualifying families will receive a check from the IRS.
Here's What You Need to Know: Families that make up to $150,000 per year, or single parents making $75,000 per year, are eligible for the full payment.
Starting on July 15, roughly 36 million American families – covering around 90 percent of all children in the United States – will begin to receive checks from the Internal Revenue Service, as part of the newly expanded Child Tax Credit passed in March 2021. Qualifying families could receive up to $1800 per child, over the course of six months.
The Child Tax Credit was increased substantially by President Biden with the American Rescue Plan Act. Prior to March 2021, the payment amounted to $2000 per year for all American children; the updated law increased the payments to $3000 for children over 6 and $3600 for children under 6, respective increases of 50 percent and 80 percent.
The bill also contained a novel measure – mailing the checks out in advance. Normally, the Child Tax Credit is a tax credit; eligible families can claim the credit as rebate on their taxes when they file in April. However, considering the impact of the pandemic, President Biden included a measure in the March legislation that mailed the checks out in monthly amounts, beginning in July and ending in December.
Here’s how it works. Every month from July until the end of the year, on or near the 15th, qualifying families will receive a check from the IRS for $250 or $300 per child, depending on the child’s age. Altogether, this can amount to $1500 or $1800, or half the total payment; the other half can be claimed as a tax rebate in April 2022. This process happens automatically; you do not need to register to receive the checks if you qualify.
If, however, you would like to receive all the payments as a lump sum, it is possible to do this via an upcoming portal on the IRS’s website. Although it may seem strange to forego money until next April, there are a few compelling reasons to do it. If, for instance, you are expecting another child in the fall, and do not want to have to deal with paperwork, you can put the payment off until April. Moreover, unlike with stimulus checks, if the IRS overpays your Child Tax Credit, you are obliged to repay them after they discover the error – so it could be safer to simply put away the money until April.
Families that make up to $150,000 per year, or single parents making $75,000 per year, are eligible for the full payment. Families making more than that amount receive proportionate deductions.
The payments can be garnished in some states, although not in others; California, for instance, has prevented creditors from seizing IRS checks. Furthermore, the IRS is forbidden to collect back taxes from the checks.
Trevor Filseth is a current and foreign affairs writer at the National Interest.
This article first appeared earlier this month.