What You Need to Know About the 2021 Child Tax Credit

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The Joe Biden administration is determined to make good on its campaign promises and has announced that about 36 million American families will begin receiving monthly checks from the IRS on July 15 as part of the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC).

Eligible families will receive up to $1,800 in cash through December.

“We’re meeting the challenges that we are confronted with,” said Cedric Richmond, Senior Advisor to the President, during a White House press conference. “We’re keeping the promises we made on the campaign trail.”

“This administration is the most diverse ever, and our focus on racial equity, black and brown, is probably the most robust there has ever been,” he added.

Richmond assured that the ultimate goal of the Biden administration is “to make a difference in [the] lives of people.”

Regarding the child tax credit, Richmond stressed that the administration is on track to “reduce child poverty by 50 percent.”

The Biden administration’s initiative is one of the most ambitious in recent years. It extends the $2,000 credit benefit, which is collected annually when filing income tax returns, to $3,600 per child. Half of the amount is divided into six payments to be paid in cash, monthly, from July through December, CBS News reported. The remainder will be claimed on the 2021 tax return.

The CTC is only available to eligible middle and lower-class families and excludes high-income families. Also, the IRS will deposit payments directly into bank accounts.

However, and as CBS continued, there is a substantial change to the CTC concerning overpayments. With the stimulus checks, recipients did not have to repay the IRS if they received more than they were entitled to. This is not the case with the Child Tax Credit.

“If you are getting money and don’t qualify, you need to opt-out of it,” said Mark Steber, Jackson Hewitt’s chief tax information officer. “You will have to pay that money back.”

Under the American Recovery Plan, the CTC was expanded to $3,600 for each child under age six and $3,000 for each child between the ages of 6 and 17. Previously, the credit excluded children who had reached age 17 and was limited to $2,000 per child.

For parents, the allowances will amount to $300 per month for each child under six years of age

250 per month for each child between the ages of 6 and 17.

This means that an eligible family with two parents filing a joint tax return and two children under age six will receive $600 in monthly payments for six months, beginning July 15 and ending December 15. Throughout the period, they will receive $3,600 in cash from the IRS for their two children.

While the payments will extend until December, the President’s Senior Advisor did say they’re working to make it a permanent measure.

For her part, Julissa Reynoso, the current chief of staff to First Lady Jill Biden, told reporters that the administration is working with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and other organizations that work with Latino communities to make sure that information is reaching every household.

In the case of undocumented families, Reynoso assured that any family with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN number) is eligible to apply for the credit by accessing the portal available in both English and Spanish. Likewise, immigrants with protections such as TPS and DACA are also eligible.