Last week was a big one for American parents, as the first monthly child tax credit payment made its way into bank accounts across the country. The parents who haven’t gotten their hands on this cash fall into three categories: those who reported too much income to be eligible for the credit, non-filers who didn’t (or weren’t able to figure out how) to sign up for the credit, and those who are still waiting on a paper check to arrive in the mail. If you fall into this latter category, it’s not too late to embrace direct deposit and make the rest of 2021 that much easier.
The IRS estimates that 80 percent of last week’s tax credit payments went out via direct deposit, which means that 20 percent of them might still be making their way to parental mailboxes via the underfunded United States Postal Service. Direct deposit is clearly the faster, more convenient way to go, but parents still waiting for their first check to arrive don’t have time to wait if they want to ensure that their second payment arrives via direct deposit.
Luckily, the process is fairly simple. Simply navigate to the Child Tax Credit Update Portal on irs.gov and either sign in with or sign up for an IRS account. Once you’re in, you can type in the routing and account numbers of the account you’d like to receive the payment in August (and, it should be noted, for the rest of the year).
August 2 is the deadline for parents and guardians to provide their direct deposit information to the IRS so that the next child tax credit payment, scheduled to go out on August 13, is deposited electronically into their bank accounts.
Those who received the first payment via direct deposit likely provided that information when filing their tax return in order to expedite the receipt of their return. It’s unclear whether deposit information provided via this portal will ensure people receive their tax returns via direct deposit.
Once they ensure that future CTC payments will arrive by direct deposit, parents can focus on how to spend (or save) their first CTC payment. If you need some ideas on that particular front, we’ve got ’em.