Elyssa Duncan
Community Specialist
Posted May 6, 2021

A $3,600 "fourth stimulus" is coming for millions of Americans

The $3,600 "fourth stimulus" will be available for eligible families beginning in July. Here's what you need to know about who qualifies for the child tax credit, how to get the full amount, and what your options are if you don't have dependents.
Elyssa Duncan
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A $3,600 "fourth stimulus" is coming for millions of Americans
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As part of the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief plan signed into law in March 2021, the IRS is preparing to send out child tax credit payments to eligible families - essentially acting as a fourth stimulus.

The new monthly payments are to be dispersed as part of an extended child tax credit of up to $3,600 per child for working families. Payments will be launched starting July 2021.

What is the child tax credit?

Under the American Rescue Plan, the child tax credit was expanded to help alleviate financial stress for millions of families across the country. Families can expect to receive:

  • $3,600 per child under the age of 6
  • $3,000 per child between ages 6 - 17
  • $500 one-time payment for dependents between ages 18 - 24 if they are enrolled in college full-time

Families who filed a 2020 tax return will receive half the credit in monthly payments, meaning from July through December, receivers will get between $250 - $300 a month for each qualifying child. The remaining half of the credit will be claimed on their 2021 tax returns.

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Who is eligible to receive the extended child tax credit?

Similar to the other payments and tax credits distributed through the American Rescue Plan, there are stipulations around who will receive the assistance.

  • Families must have a qualifying dependent(s) under the age of 18.

  • Taxpayers earning under $75,000 per year ($150,000 per year for married joint fillers) are eligible for the full payment amount.

  • The payment is then reduced by $50 for each $1,000 above the income thresholds.

  • Payments are not eligible for individuals earning $95,000+ or $170,000+ for married couples.

How do I ensure I get the full amount in tax credit?

To guarantee the maximum tax credit, it is important that you check your filing data with the IRS. According to CNBS, advanced payments are based on an IRS estimate from data like marital status, annual income, and the number of qualifying children.

If the data is outdated, it could trigger an under or overpayment of the tax credit. Please note: if your information is incorrect, and an overpayment is issued, it could result in you having to pay back the excess funds. For example, when you file your 2021 federal taxes, and your situation isn't what the IRS has on file and you weren't qualified to as much as you received, you'll have to return the overpayment. According to an expert at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, over payment "would reduce your refund or increase your tax payment next April. That’s how it would be paid back.”

Can I opt-out of the monthly child tax credit checks?

Yes, you can choose to opt out of the monthly checks and receive a lump-sum payment in 2022 instead. The IRS intends to open a portal by July 1, 2021, that will allow families to waive the monthly payments.

This portal will also be where you can update your information if circumstances have changed, such as having a child in 2021.

Some reasons you may prefer one large payment versus monthly disbursements are:

  • You’re concerned about a potential overpayment and don’t want to worry about paying that money back.
  • You know your circumstances will change and don’t want to deal with updating your information in the portal.

I don't have any eligible children. What are my options?

If you don't have any eligible dependents to offer you a child tax credit, there are other options to help.

  • The Recovery rebate credit allows people to claim earlier rounds of Economic Impact Payments (EIP) if they did not receive the first two stimulus checks - up to $1,200 and $600 respectively.

  • 211.org has a large range of available resources for the needs such as:

    • Health insurance
    • Medical expenses
    • Unemployment benefits
    • Mortgage, rent, and utilities payment assistance
    • Food assistance
    • Mental health and crisis

What are your thoughts on the expanded child tax credit?

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Elyssa Duncan
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Sabina salzhauer

If you had a child in 2021, do you get a child stimulus?

23h
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1
Alishia Smith

what about people on social security we need help to

19h
1
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1 Like
Aaron Jackson

What about the people that worked all the through the pandemic but are still behind. I had no assistance bills still came ,hours were cut. What about those people that didn't get extra for going to work everyday we still had bills to pay, my rent wasn't free my lights and gas weren't free, carnote still needed to be paid where is that little boost for us?

15h
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Trista Allen

This isn’t free money, this is early tax payments from the 2021 taxes!

14h
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Barbara Chikosi

I'm a senior citizen and a taxpayer that don't have any children to qualify under this program. What am I supposed to do? What happened to the promise of individuals receiving subsidized income during the pandemic? The pandemic isn't over people living on fixed income are still living in poverty. What plans do the government have to augment people's incomes to keep up with the rising cost of living?

14h
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Kiere Shaw

Edward Don, a warehouse in "GOOD OL" TX, If I add the backpay they owe me with the union bonus they screwed me out of.... YUP MAKES WORKING TOTALLY NOT WORTH IT! EFF A (warehouse) job (in TX)!!!!!!

13h
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Kelly blanton

Don't worry the government will some how swindle a families income tax in the future years to come so it will be away that people will not get their total of allowed income taxes on their dependents..this money is not a free hand out sounds amazing right.?! You just wait they aren't telling everyone how this money will be gained back to the government..

13h
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Joe Calderon

Why do by then just keep it and get the heck out of the office he can't even read a script or remember what he's even talking about

10h
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James Robertson

I can't afford another stimulus check! I'm on disability and this blatant buying of votes has driven inflation. It's getting worse and printing money from thin air will wreck the economy. I got a 1.6% COLA this year and my rent went up. I can barely make ends meet as it is. And you want me to pay for other people's kids? That's their responsibility. Not mine. Just another reason for people to not return to work. And an attempt to bribe them to vote Democrat! When will this madness stop? Now Allana Presley wants to give everyone ( including illegal immigrants ) 1,000 dollars a month? Socialism pure and simple!

8h
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YourA Dumbass

There is No more stimulus checks going out this yr. Voted out. I wish people would pay attention and not just go to Google and say oh it's true don't be stupid.

54m
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