Personal finance

These Are All the Important Child Tax Credit Dates You Need to Know

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Since July, millions of American families with children have received monthly checks through the new enhanced child tax credit.

Even more will see a larger than usual credit — and potential refund, depending on other aspects of their situation — come tax time next year.

So far, the credit has slashed hunger rates, lessened financial instability and reduced financial anxiety for the families receiving it. Going forward, Democrats are hoping to ensure that the enhanced credit — which is currently only authorized for the 2021 tax year — continues in coming years.

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In the meantime, there are a few key dates that everyone eligible for the credit should keep in mind, especially if they're looking to opt in or out of receiving payments, have moved or would like to get the benefit sent to a different bank account.

When are the checks coming?

The IRS and U.S. Department of the Treasury said the money will arrive on the 15th of each month through December, unless that date falls on a weekend or holiday. In those cases, the credit will be sent on the next closest business day.

Here are the remaining dates that families can expect checks in the mail or direct deposits:

  • Sept. 15
  • Oct. 15
  • Nov. 15
  • Dec. 15

Families that are eligible for the credit but have not received checks — likely because they didn't file a 2019 or 2020 tax return — can still register for the benefit through the IRS non-filer sign up tool.

What are the deadlines for changes?

Beyond the delivery dates for the remaining payments, there are several deadlines that families should keep in mind.

By using the IRS child tax credit update portal, families can change their bank account information for direct deposit and their mailing address, which will apply to future checks.

Updating your address may be important, even if you're like some 88% of families that get the money directly deposited into a bank account each month. That's because the IRS is still sending out paper correspondence concerning the credit — including Letter 6419, which all families will need next year to reconcile what advance payments they've received.

Families also can still opt out of receiving monthly payments altogether and instead receive the entire credit on their 2021 tax return next year. To have such revisions take effect before the next payment, families need to make them at least three days before the first Thursday of the month, according to the IRS.

Here are the deadlines:

  • Aug. 30 for Sept. 15 payment
  • Oct. 4 for Oct. 15 payment
  • Nov. 1 for Nov. 15 payment
  • Nov. 29 for Dec. 15 payment

Other updates to watch for

The IRS and Treasury will continue to make updates to the various portals they've created for the child tax credit, so families should watch for new features.

In September, families that have previously unenrolled for the advance payments will be able to re-enroll and get the remaining monthly checks, according to the IRS.

In addition, at some point in the fall, families will be able to make other adjustments that may change the amount of money they receive, including the number of qualifying children, their marital status, income and even custody agreements.

These changes will help ensure that every family gets the right amount and could also save some families from having to pay back a portion of the credit.

Families that make over a certain amount should be extra careful. This includes those that expect their adjusted gross income will be more than $120,000 for those married filing jointly, $100,000 for those filing as head of household or $80,000 for those filing as an independent or married filing separately, as they don't qualify for repayment protection and may owe the IRS money.

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