IRS: Families Eligible for Expanded Child Tax Credit Should File Returns Soon

The Internal Revenue Service today urged all individuals and families who have not yet filed their 2019 or 2020 tax returns to do so as soon as possible so that those who are eligible may begin receiving the expanded Child Tax Credit payments, which were authorized by the American Rescue Plan and which will begin to be distributed on July 15. The IRS is in the process of sending letters to more than 36 million American families who may be eligible, based on tax information on record.

Eligible families will begin receiving advance payments either by direct deposit or check. Under the expanded tax credit, payments may be up to $300 per month for each qualifying child under age six and up to $250 per month for each qualifying child between the ages of six and 17. The IRS noted that “most families do not need to take any action to get their payment,” and that payments will be calculated based on the 2020 tax return, if available. If the 2020 return is not available, the IRS will determine the payment amount using the 2019 return.

The IRS has created a dedicated webpage with more information and resources on the expanded tax credit, including an interactive eligibility tool and a portal through which taxpayers eligible for the credit may opt-out of the advance payment program.