(CNN)Tens of millions of families have been sent the first payment of the expanded child tax credit, the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department said Wednesday night. The beefed-up credit will provide them with extra funds each month through the end of 2021 along with a tax break next year.
The payments were approved as part of the Democrats’ $1.9 trillion stimulus package that President Joe Biden signed into law in March. The first installment totaled $15 billion.
The infusions may offer the greatest benefit to low-income families, cutting child poverty nearly in half — but the extra cash will also go to better-off American families.
Here are four things you need to know about the expanded child tax credit:
The full enhanced credit will be available for heads of households earning $112,500 and joint filers making up to $150,000 a year, after which it begins to phase out.
For many families, the credit then plateaus at $2,000 per child and starts to phase out for single parents earning more than $200,000 or for married couples with incomes above $400,000.
More low-income parents will also become eligible for the child tax credit because the relief package makes it fully refundable. It had been only partially refundable — leaving more than 26 million children unable to get the full credit because their families’ incomes were too low, according to Treasury Department estimates.
Parents who aren’t citizens can receive the payments for their citizen children as long as they have individual taxpayer identification numbers (ITIN) and their children have Social Security numbers.
Families can check their eligibility through this IRS website.
The expanded credit, however, is only in place for 2021, though Democrats hope to extend it.
How much will I get?
That depends on your household income and family size.
Eligible families can receive a total of up to $3,600 for each child under 6 and up to $3,000 for each one age 6 to 17 for 2021. That’s an increase from the regular child tax credit of up to $2,000 for each child up to
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