The final opportunity is fast approaching for families to take advantage of, if they haven’t already, one of the most extraordinary actions the federal government has taken in response to the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic. For anyone who, for whatever reason, hasn’t started getting the monthly child discount in 2021 yet, time is running out to do so.
As a reminder, the massive $1.9 trillion stimulus bill that President Biden signed earlier this year didn’t just fund a third stimulus check (for $1,400). The children’s discount was also temporarily extended. 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 have gotten creative in structuring a temporary raise. Half of that increase was paid as an advance, spread over six checks this year between July and December.
Important IRS Deadline
Some eligible families have not yet started receiving one of the six checks for a variety of reasons. If you belong to that group, here’s what you need to do if you want to get this advance payment from the IRS before the end of 2021.
Visit GetCTC.org and sign up for the Enhanced Tax Credit before November 15. Developed by the Treasury Department and Code for America, that site is aimed at families who have eligible children but have not yet received the checks automatically.
Those families rushing and signing up? They get the money everyone else has at once, divided over the six-month payments. Moreover, for these last-minute recipients, that money will arrive next month, in December.
Schedule child discount 2021
As for the schedule for the remaining payments of the child tax credit, there are two regular scheduled checks in 2021.
The first is coming in less than a week – on Monday, November 15. Then comes a final check exactly one month later, on December 15. And after December there will also be an additional benefit in 2022.
Recall that this year’s six checks were only partial prepayments. The rest of a family’s tax credit comes next year when they file their federal tax returns. That tax credit should be equal to all six checks the family received this year next year. And beyond that, there might be some good news, too.
The Biden administration is pushing for a one-year extension of the child tax credit. If the congress goes along? Then we’ll see all of this happen next year, with another year’s worth of these monthly checks. But the details aren’t final yet, as Congress is still working it out as part of a larger piece of legislation.