If You Received The Child Tax Credit Letter From the IRS, Here’s What You Need To Know

Close up of a father and mother helping their son with learning how to ride a bike.
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The first monthly payment for the advance child tax credit hit bank accounts this morning as millions of American families are expected to receive the benefit.

See: Child Tax Credit Payment Schedule Is Out Now – Here’s When You’ll Get Your Money
Find: How Long Will the Child Tax Credit Payments Last?

If you are one of the recipients of today’s payment, you should have received a letter in the mail outlining the amount of money you should be receiving based on IRS estimates. The letter stresses that if you have filed a 2019 or 2020 tax return the IRS will automatically pay you the benefit and that no further action is needed on your part.

The letter also states why this new benefit is considered an advance. The child tax credit in itself is not new, and something available to be claimed every year during tax time. The difference is that half of this year’s amount is available as an advance payment in monthly installments starting today and lasting through December.

Families with children aged 6-17 years old will be eligible to receive $3,000 total per child and families with children aged 6-17 will be eligible to receive $3,600 total. If you received a letter, the amount the IRS has estimated you qualify for will be stated.

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If you received a letter stating that you will be receiving payments and have checked your bank account today and see that nothing was deposited, you can access the child tax credit portals that the IRS has set up here to see if your bank account information is correct. You can also double-check your eligibility and see if you are registered to receive payments or not.

See: IRS Updates Child Tax Credit Direct Deposit Portal
Find: What Can I Do If I’m Not Enrolled for Child Tax Credit Payments?

It’s important to note, the IRS letter also states that IF you use direct deposit, you will receive your payment today. If you did not file your return with direct deposit or do not have a bank account, you will need to wait for the benefit to be delivered via paper check or prepaid debit card. These will take longer to distribute, and should not be expected today.

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About the Author

Georgina Tzanetos is a former financial advisor who studied post-industrial capitalist structures at New York University. She has eight years of experience with concentrations in asset management, portfolio management, private client banking, and investment research. Georgina has written for Investopedia and WallStreetMojo. 
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