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Financial News

Jul 9, 2021

How to Get Your 2021 Child Tax Credit Money

By Jeremy Quittner

Most people who filed last year’s returns will automatically receive monthly payments by direct deposit.

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Starting July 15, 2021 most families will be eligible for monthly, per child payments from the federal government. The extra money comes to them from the American Rescue Plan, and is an expansion of something called the child tax credit. (Read more about the tax credit here.)

How can I claim my money? 

  • Most people don’t need to do anything. If you filed your 2020 tax returns and signed up for direct deposit of your tax refund, the relief money will be automatically deposited into the bank account you indicated on your tax forms. If you haven’t filed your 2020 taxes yet, the IRS will use information from your 2019 return. You can use the Child Tax Credit Update portal to check your eligibility, unenroll, and make changes to the bank account where you’d like to get payments. You can find the portal here.
  • If you haven’t filed your taxes for 2020, are not required to, or don’t plan to, the IRS has also launched a non-filer portal where you can enter your information for payments. (You can access that here.)
  • If you do not have a bank account, you will be mailed paper checks.
  • Note: the federal government will provide monthly payments for half the money to which they are entitled. Taxpayers will receive the other half as a tax credit when they file their 2021 taxes.

(You can get more details about the child tax credit and payments from the IRS here.)

Who is eligible?

Single people who earn an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $75,000 or less, married couples who earn $150,000 or less, and heads of household who earn $112,500 or less will be eligible to receive the credit. 

The credit begins to phase out for single taxpayers and married couples who earn more, and it ends for single people who earn $200,000 or more annually, and for married couples who make $400,000 or more. 

You can find out about your eligibility by using the IRS’s advance child tax credit tool here.

How much will the payments be?

  • $250 per child between six and 17 for a total of $3,000 annually, and $300 per child under the age of six, for a total of $3,600 per year.
  • If you have dependents who are 18 years old, or full-time college students age 19 to 24 years old, you may be eligible for a non-refundable $500 annual tax credit per child.

When will payments get sent out?

The IRS says the schedule of monthly payments will be July 15, August 13, September 15, October 15, November 15, and December 15. 

What if you don’t want monthly payments?

Taxpayers can opt out of monthly payments and instead get the money as a year-end tax credit by going to the IRS child tax credit portal

Stash customers

If you already signed up to direct deposit your tax refund into your Stash banking account when you filed your 2020 taxes, the relief money should also be deposited into your Stash banking account. If you’re eligible to receive the payment, it will be deposited automatically—you don’t need to do anything further. You can also go to the IRS Child Tax Credit Update portal and provide your Stash banking account and routing number to make sure that your stimulus check is deposited into your account.

Consider saving or investing a portion of the money you may be receiving.1 To find out what other families are planning to do with their payments, check out our story here.

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Jeremy Quittner is the editorial director for Stash.

This should not be construed as tax advice. Please consult a tax professional for additional questions.
1 Stash does not offer an interest-bearing savings account. Investment products and services provided by Stash Investments LLC, not Green Dot Bank, and are Not FDIC Insured, Not Bank Guaranteed, and May Lose Value.
*Early availability depends on timing of payor’s payment instructions and fraud prevention restrictions may apply. As such, the availability or timing of early direct deposit may vary from pay period to pay period.
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