If you registered for the advance child tax credit, now is a good time to check your bank account. On Sep. 15, the third batch of monthly payments was sent to the bank accounts of nearly 60 million families with children.
Here’s everything you need to know about child tax credit eligibility and how to track your payment.
How much is the child tax credit?
The IRS is providing eligible families with payments ranging from $250 to $300 per month. Those with children under the age of 6 will receive $300 per month, while those with children from 6 to 17 will receive $250 per month. The credit is part of a series of advance payments from the IRS to families eligible for the federal government’s child tax scheme, which began on Jul. 15.
Who qualifies for the payment from the IRS?
To be eligible for the full amount, a taxpayer must have modified adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less for single filers, $150,000 or less for the married couples filing jointly, or $112,500 or less for heads of households. People earning more than $240,000 as a single or head-of-household filer and married couples earning more than $440,000 aren’t eligible for the benefit.
Why child tax credit eligibility is pending
In some cases, taxpayers who believe they're eligible for the payments may find their eligibility listed as "pending" on the Child Tax Credit Update Portal. This means that the IRS is still reviewing the account's eligibility, and the taxpayer won’t get a payment until the IRS determines that the individual qualifies.
Most families don’t have to do anything to receive the advance payments if they've already filed their 2019 or 2020 tax return and claimed the child tax credit, or if they have submitted their details using the IRS’s non-filers tool. If your income or tax status changes in 2021, you may need to update your tax information in the Child Tax Credit Portal.
If you adopted or gave birth to a child after you have filed your 2020 tax return, the IRS might not know about it. Therefore, you have to provide that information in the IRS portal.
How to track child tax credit payments
If you want to know if you received your September payment or if you're still waiting for a payment from July or August, you may use the Child Tax Credit Portal to find out if the payment was delivered or if it’s still pending. If a payment is marked as delivered but hasn’t been received, and at least five days have passed after a direct deposit or four weeks since the IRS sent the payment to your address, you can request a payment trace.
Child tax credit extension
Currently, the increased child tax credit payments are temporary, lasting only for the 2021 tax year. In a $3.5 trillion economic bill released on Sep. 10, House Democrats suggested extending the child tax credit until 2025 and keeping it non-refundable so that low-income households can receive the full amount even if they don’t owe taxes.