The chances that Congress will approve a fourth stimulus check from the Internal Revenue Service are pretty slim, but that doesn’t mean payments from the federal government are over—at least not for parents.
This week, the IRS began notifying more than 36 million taxpayers that they may be eligible for child tax credits that would come in the form of monthly checks. It’s part of the newly expanded Child Tax Credit that was authorized in March with the American Rescue Plan Act. Under this plan, payments would begin on July 15 and would be up to $300 a month for each child under 6 years old and $250 a month for kids 6 to 17.
Here’s the pay schedule the IRS has laid out:
- July 15
- August 13
- September 15
- October 15
- November 15
- December 15
And now here’s the best part: If you’re eligible to receive these payments, you don’t have to do anything extra to claim them. The IRS says it is determining eligibility based on 2020 tax returns (or 2019 tax returns if you haven’t filed 2020 yet), and it will notify eligible taxpayers via letters. So if you think you qualify, keep checking your mailbox.
Still not sure if you’re eligible? This child tax credit calculator from the folks at Omni should come in handy. The IRS also says it has an “interactive Child Tax Credit eligibility tool” on the way, and it has launched a dedicated hub for updates about the tax credits.
In the meantime, parents who have yet to file a 2020 or 2019 tax return are encouraged to do so ASAP. The IRS can’t pay you if it doesn’t know you’re eligible. Good luck!