If you have kids and fit the eligibility requirements, you could see your first monthly payment from the US Treasury this week. The first installment to 39 million families, comprising 65 million kids, are set to be disseminated on Thursday, either via direct deposit or check. Most families will automatically receive them. Per CNBC, the enhanced tax credit that's part of the Biden administration's American Rescue Plan is set at a maximum credit of $3,600 for each child younger than age 6, and $3,000 for each child ages 6 to 17. Half of the credit will be sent in advance in these six monthly payments—meaning $300 per month for the younger kids, and $250 per month for the older ones. Families will be able to claim the other half of the credit as a refund at tax time.
There are restrictions: To claim the full credit, individuals need an adjusted gross income of less than $75,000, or less than $150,000 for a married couple. Partial payment will be available to those individuals making up to $95,000, or to couples making $170,000 and filing jointly. The IRS is using 2020 tax returns to determine who's eligible, or 2019 ones if families haven't yet filed for last year. The New York Times notes the initiative is set to cut child poverty in the nation almost in half, and advocates are hoping to continue it past this year. Detractors, however, are calling the payments "welfare" and will likely put up a fight at any type of effort to extend the program. CNET answers some more questions about the tax credit and links to the IRS' Eligibility Assistant, where you can find out if you're set to receive a boost to your bank account. (Read more child tax credit stories.)