The IRS has started sending letters to over 36 million families who, based on tax returns filed, may be eligible to receive monthly child tax credit payments starting July. Eligibility of these families are being evaluated based on information provided by taxpayers in their 2019 or 2020 tax returns, or through the Non-Filers tool while registering for an Economic Impact Payment. In addition, taxpayers who are eligible for advance child tax credit payments will receive a second, personalized letter listing an estimate of their monthly payment, starting July 15.

The IRS further announced that eligible families will begin receiving advance payments, either by direct deposit or check. Importantly, this payment will be up to $300 per month for each qualifying child under six years of age, and up to $250 per month, for each qualifying child from ages six to 17. Moreover, advance child tax credit payments will be issued on July 15, August 13, September 15, October 15, November 15 and December 15, 2021.

To avail themselves of these credits, taxpayers who have not yet filed their 2020 or 2019 return should do so as soon as possible, to receive advance payments. The IRS reminded taxpayers who do not normally file returns, such as families experiencing homelessness, that filing soon will ensure that their most current banking information would be applicable. Similarly, community groups, non-profits, associations, education organizations and others with connections to people with children to share this critical information about the child tax credit and other important benefits.

Finally, the IRS reminded taxpayers of the changes to child tax credit by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) ( P.L. 117-2). The entire credit is fully refundable for 2021; meaning eligible families can avail themselves of the credit, even if they owe no federal income tax. The IRS also recommends that taxpayers visit the Advance Child Tax Credit Payments in 2021 page to learn more about these changes.