Child Tax Credit Payment Methods — Here’s How You’ll Get Yours

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The first round of child tax credit payments are set to be sent out on July 15, but those first payments will only be sent by direct deposit or paper check. The IRS states that if it does not have your bank account information to issue a direct deposit, it will send your child tax credit payment by mail. However, the first batch of mail-in payments will only be via paper check — not pre-loaded debit card.

See: Why Your Child Tax Credit Might Be Lower This Year
Find: Your 2021 Baby Makes You Eligible for the Child Tax Credit

This presents a problem for those without bank accounts, as they will likely receive the payments later than those with bank accounts. Pre-loaded debit cards are already a common way of disbursing Social Security payments to seniors. The IRS has stated that these will be available to those without a bank account as well but did not give a specific date that this form of payment should be expected.

Most of the child tax credit payments are expected to go straight into bank accounts. Eighty percent of the credits will be issued as direct deposit, and the IRS stated it is “committed to maximizing the use of direct deposit to ensure fast and secure delivery” of child tax credit payments.

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See: Here’s Who Is Not Eligible for the New Child Tax Credit
Find: How Is the Child Tax Credit Calculated? Find Out Before the First Payment on July 15

Elaine Maag, principal research associate at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, told CNBC that “it’s unfortunate that the IRS is unable to send debit cards, given that there are some people who do not have  a bank account and could surely benefit from not having to go through a check-cashing process.” Pre-loaded debit cards make the funds easier to access because the cards can be used as is.

The advance child tax credit is an expansion of the child tax credit under the stimulus relief bill. The IRS will begin disbursing monthly $300-per-child payments to eligible families starting July 15. The IRS has set up two online portals so that families who do not ordinarily have to file tax returns can input their information to register and receive their credit.

See: College Student Eligibility for Child Tax Credit: Don’t Miss Your $500 Payment Next Month
Find: How long will the child tax credit payment last?

More information on the availability of debit card distribution is expected in the coming weeks. If you are concerned you might not receive your payment, it’s important to verify that all your information with the IRS is correct.

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If you have already filed your taxes for this year, there is nothing further you need to do to receive the child tax credit payment. The IRS will distribute your payment in the same manner in which it issued your refund.

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Last updated: July 9, 2021

    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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