Families are now receiving their advance Child Tax Credit (CTC) payment for the month of September.
This third batch of advance monthly payments, totaling about $15 billion, is reaching about 35 million families today across the country. The majority of payments will be issued by direct deposit. Under the American Rescue Plan, most eligible families received payments dated July 15 and Aug. 13, along with today’s September 15 payment. Future payments are scheduled for October 15, November 15 and December 15. For these families, each payment is up to $300 per month for each child under age 6 and up to $250 per month for each child ages 6 through 17.
Here are further details on these payments:
- Families will see the direct deposit payments in their accounts starting today, September 15. Like the prior payments, the vast majority of families will receive them by direct deposit.
- For those receiving payments by paper check, be sure to allow extra time, through the end of September, for delivery by mail. Those wishing to receive future payments by direct deposit can make this change using the Child Tax Credit Update Portal available only on IRS.gov. To access the portal or to get a new step-by-step guide for using it, visit IRS.gov/childtaxcredit2021. A change made by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on October 4 will apply starting with the October payment.
- Payments went to eligible families who filed a 2019 or 2020 income tax return. Returns processed by Aug. 30 are reflected in these payments. This includes people who don’t typically file a return but during 2020 successfully registered for Economic Impact Payments using the IRS Non-Filers tool on IRS.gov or in 2021 successfully used the Non-filer Sign-up Tool for advance CTC, also available only on IRS.gov.
- Payments are automatic. Aside from filing a tax return, which could include filing a simplified return from the Non-filer Sign-up Tool, families don’t have to do anything if they are eligible to receive monthly payments.
- Families who did not get a July or August payment and are getting their first monthly payment in September will still receive their total advance payment for the year of up to $1,800 for each child under age 6 and up to $1,500 for each child ages 6 through 17. This means that the total payment will be spread over four months, rather than six, making each monthly payment larger. For these families, each payment is up to $450 per month for each child under age 6 and up to $375 per month for each child ages 6 through 17.
Still time to sign up; additional details
It’s not too late for families who haven’t filed a 2020 income tax return—including those who are not normally required to file because their incomes are too low—to sign up for advance CTC payments. Most low-income families can get these monthly payments.
The IRS urges families who normally aren’t required to file a tax return to explore the tools available on IRS.gov. These tools can help determine their eligibility or help them file a simplified tax return to sign up for these payments, as well as to be considered automatically for the third round of Economic Impact Payments of up to $1,400 per person and to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit covering any of the first two rounds of Economic Impact Payments they may have missed.
The IRS encourages partners and community groups to share information and use available online tools and toolkits to help non-filers, low-income families and other underserved groups sign up to receive these benefits.
Families can stop payments anytime, even after payments begin. They can do that by using the unenroll feature in the Child Tax Credit Update Portal. Eligible families who make this choice will still receive the rest of their Child Tax Credit as a lump sum when they file their 2021 federal income tax return next year. To stop all payments starting in October and for the rest of 2021, they must unenroll by 11:59 p.m. ET on October 4, 2021.
For married couples, each spouse must unenroll separately. If they each choose to unenroll, they will receive no monthly payments. If only one spouse unenrolls, they will still receive monthly payments, but they will be half the normal amount.
The unenroll feature can also be helpful to any family that no longer qualifies for the CTC or believes they will not qualify when they file their 2021 return in 2022. This could happen if, for example, someone else, such as an ex-spouse or another family member, qualifies to claim their child or children as dependents in 2021.
At the same time, IRS also reminded eligible families who are not getting these payments, especially those who receive little or no income, that the IRS Non-filer Sign-up Tool remains available to use until October 15.
Links to these tools, a step-by-step guide to using the Non-filer Sign-up Tool, answers to frequently asked questions and other helpful resources are available on the IRS’s special advance CTC 2021 page.