The second child tax credit payment is due to hit bank accounts on Friday, August 13. The deposit will hit banks two days ahead of the usual mid-month deposit date, the 15th, the date parents can expect to receive almost every other child tax credit payment.
Ninety-seven percent of working households are eligible for the cash, half of which comes in these monthly installments. The other half in a lump sum paid out at tax-filing time in 2022.
Parents can expect to receive several hundred dollars a month based on their income, per kid — with parents getting up to $300 for kids 0 to 6 and $250 for kids 7 up to 18-years-old.
But are you eligible for the second payment? Were you eligible for the first but didn’t get it? Do you want to switch to a lump sum at the end of the year instead of the monthly installments? Here’s what you should know.
How to Know If You’re Eligible for the Child Tax Credit
First, there’s the matter of knowing your income. How much money you get from the government depends on how much you make — single filers making under $75,000 can expect to receive the full amount of the tax credit and the same is true up to $150,000 for those filing jointly. The credit phases out as incomes rise above those thresholds.
Parents how are income-eligible and filed their taxes should have received two letters from the IRS — the first told them that they may be eligible and the second provided an estimate of what their monthly payments would be. If you received that letter, congratulations! You are eligible and don’t need to do anything, and you likely already received your first check on July 15 if you signed up for direct deposit. But if you didn’t…
And you don’t file taxes, go check out the non-filers tool to sign up for the payments. Poor parents who don’t pay taxes have been struggling to get their payments for myriad reasons — so make sure you go to the non-filers tool ASAP.
If you really want to make sure that you get a direct deposit of the cash instead of a mailed check, you are unfortunately out of luck for August 13th’s payment. But you should navigate to the Child Tax Credit Update Portal before the next deadline (August 30th) and sign up for direct deposit. Once you’ve done that, you can enter the routing and account numbers of the account where you want to receive your payments for August. In the meantime, you can watch the mail.
What Does it Mean If Your Eligibility is Pending?
Some parents have not received their monthly payments despite being financially eligible to do so. The IRS portal may say your eligibility is “pending.” The IRS may update your eligibility but if they don’t, you’ll get the money you’re owe—potentially several thousand dollars—at the end of the year, at tax-filing time.
What if You Want to Get All of Your Money at the End of the Year?
If you want to un-enroll from monthly payments, you’ve missed the boat on August 13th’s payment, which was on August 2nd, the same deadline for enrolling in direct deposit.
You can opt to skip the next round of payments — due to be sent out on September 15 — by August 30th to receive it in one lump sum in January 2022.
The last four monthly payments will come out on September 15th, October 15th, November 15th, and December 15th.