It’s almost time for the fourth batch of monthly child tax credit payments. The first three payments were sent on July 15, August 13, and September 15, while the next payment is scheduled for October 15 – that’s this week! The IRS will also be sending out additional payments every month through the end of the year.

For parents who received their first child tax credit payment in July, the maximum monthly payment for each child 6 to 17 years old is $250 and $300 for each kid under age 6. That’s the most you can get, but families with higher incomes won’t receive that much or could be denied the credit altogether.

If you get your first monthly payment after July, the maximum payment amount is higher. That’s because you’ll still receive the same amount of money in 2021 (i.e., 50% of your total child tax credit for the year), but it will be paid in fewer installments. For example, the maximum monthly payment for a family that receives its first payment in October is $500-per-child for kids ages 6 through 17 and $600-per-child for kids under age 6. Again, however, wealthier families will get less or nothing at all.

How You Will Receive Your Child Tax Credit Payment

In most cases, monthly child tax credit payments are being directly deposited into each family’s bank account. That’s how you’ll get paid if the IRS has bank account information from:

  • Your 2019 or 2020 tax return;
  • The IRS’s online tool used in 2020 by people who aren’t required to file a tax return to get a first-round stimulus check; or
  • A federal agency that provides you benefits, such as the Social Security Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, or the Railroad Retirement Board.

If the IRS doesn’t have your bank account information, it will send you a paper check or debit card by mail.

Child Tax Credit Payment Schedule for the Rest of 2021

PAYMENT DATE
1st Payment July 15, 2021
2nd Payment August 15, 2021
3rd Payment September 15, 2021
4th Payment October 15, 2021
5th Payment November 15, 2021
6th Payment December 15, 2021
1st half of child tax credit issued in 6 payments/2nd Half of your payment will be issued on your 2021 Tax refund in 2022!

If you’re receiving monthly child tax credit payments in the mail, you can use the portal to update your mailing address. This will help families receiving paper checks avoid mailing delays or having their payment returned as undeliverable. Once again, the deadline for changing an address for the October 15 payment has come and gone, but you still have time to revise your address for future payments.

Stopping Monthly Child Tax Credit Payments

Some people would be better off if they didn’t receive monthly child tax credit payments. For example, if you want the highest tax refund possible when you file your tax return next year, the monthly payments are going to bring down that refund. If you won’t qualify for the 2021 child tax credit – e.g., your 2021 income is too high, someone else (e.g., an ex-spouse) will claim your child as a dependent in 2021, or you live outside the U.S. for more than half of 2021 – you might end up having to pay back some or all the money you received as monthly payments when you file your return next year.

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