Child tax credit: First payments go out July 15

Starting this week, millions of American families can expect to receive the first round of payments from the new expanded child tax credit that was signed into law in March after the passage of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package.

As part of Biden's relief bill, eligible families can receive as much as $3,600 for each child under the age of 6. The tax credit will be $3,000 annually per child between the ages of 6 and 17.

When will the first payments go out?

The Internal Revenue Service announced that it will begin issuing advance payments on July 15 to some 39 million families with roughly 65 million children. 

"Each payment will be up to $300 per child under age 6 and up to $250 per child ages 6 through 17," the IRS wrote in a post on Twitter. 

How to qualify for the payments

In order to qualify for the tax credit, families must file a joint return and must fall into the following categories, according to the IRS: 

  • Filed a 2019 or 2020 tax return and claimed the Child Tax Credit on the return; or
  • Given us your information in 2020 to receive the Economic Impact Payment using the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here tool; and
  • A main home in the United States for more than half the year (the 50 states and the District of Columbia) or file a joint return with a spouse who has a main home in the United States for more than half the year; and
  • A qualifying child who is under age 18 at the end of 2021 and who has a valid Social Security number; and
  • Made less than certain income limits

In June, the Biden administration launched a website with details for potential recipients. 

The credit starts to phase out for individual parents earning more than $75,000 and couples making $150,000. The legislation also expands the credit to millions of families currently making too little to qualify for the full benefits.

What if you did not file your taxes?

People can register for the program even if they did not fully file their taxes. The program is slated to expire after one year, though Biden has proposed extending it through 2025 with the ultimate goal of making it permanent.

Child tax credit calculator

Parents can use a free calculator from Omni to see how much money they can expect to receive.

Families could also opt to receive monthly payments – roughly $250 to $300 – instead of an annual lump sum. 

This story was reported from Los Angeles.