When will child tax credit payments end? Key dates and deadlines to remember

Expect a few more payments this year as well as a payout next spring. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Next week, the third child tax credit check will be sent to millions of families. Once the Sept. 15 payment goes out, there will only be three checks left in 2021. To recap: Every month between July and December, the IRS sends an advance partial payment to households with qualifying dependents; it will issue the rest of the credit in 2022 alongside tax refunds.

There’s a collection of online tools you can use to manage your payments. There are also monthly deadlines that you’ll need to meet if you want to make any changes before the next check arrives. For example, the last day to update your mailing address or direct deposit info before the October check is Oct. 4. That’s also the next deadline to opt out of the remaining advance payments this year and get more cash next year instead. 

Read on to help mark your calendar for future payment dates and unenrollment deadlines. If you need to add more dependents to your account or update your income data, you should be able to use the Update Portal to make those changes later this month. Here are three reasons why you may want to unenroll from the monthly payment program and what to do if you’ve received the wrong payment amount.

When are the rest of the 2021 child tax credit checks?

Counting September’s batch, the IRS has four more rounds of payments to send to those who qualify. The IRS has sent more than $30 billion in the July and August rounds of payments, and 80% of those were direct deposits; the rest went out as checks in the mail. 

Here are the send dates to keep track of for the payments for September through December and then the one in 2022:

  • Sept. 15
  • Oct. 15
  • Nov. 15
  • Dec. 15 (last payment of 2021)
  • Tax season 2022 (remainder of money)

When will the other part of the credit arrive?

After you receive whatever payments the IRS sends you this year, the remainder of your money will come with your tax refund in 2022, after you file your tax return next tax season. While the IRS did extend the 2020 and 2021 tax seasons due to the pandemic, you typically have from the end of January to April 15 to file.

What are the opt-out deadlines for the remaining checks?

If you decide to unenroll from the monthly payments this year, you still have time to have the remainder of your child tax credit money show up next tax season. You may decide to unenroll, for example, if you think you may need to pay back money when you file your taxes in 2022.

Note that the IRS opt-out deadlines are about two weeks ahead of the payment dates. If you miss one deadline for a round of checks, your changes will take effect with the next round. And these are the same deadlines you need to hit for making other changes to your account, such as adding your banking information or changing your mailing address. While the Update Portal doesn’t yet allow you to make changes to your income, marital status and number of dependents, you should be able to do so before the October payment. 

The IRS said if you unenroll and then change your mind, you’ll be able to opt back in sometime in late September. Here are the remaining dates by which you would need to unenroll.

  • You can no longer opt out of the September payment
  • Oct. 4 (for October payment)
  • Nov. 1 (for November payment)
  • Nov. 29 (for December payment)

How can I calculate my credit before filing taxes?

To help you file your taxes next year and either claim whatever amount the IRS still owes you or — much less likely — repay money you received but didn’t qualify for, the IRS will send you a letter in January 2022 with the total amount of child tax credit money you received in 2021. You’ll use information from this letter, which the IRS is calling Letter 6419, when you file your tax return.

For more, here’s everything you need to know about child tax credit requirements and dates and what to do if you need to track down a missing payment. Here’s also what we know about what the spending bills making their way through Congress could mean for you.

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