The Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department announced on July 15 that millions of American families have started receiving monthly Child Tax Credit payments as direct deposits begin posting in bank accounts and checks arrive in mailboxes.

This first batch of advance monthly payments worth roughly $15 billion reached about 35 million families today across the country. About 86% were sent by direct deposit. The average payment in the first round is $423, and will reach nearly 60 million children, the agency said.

The payments will continue each month. The IRS urged people who normally aren't required to file a tax return to explore the tools available on IRS.gov. These tools can help determine eligibility for the advance Child Tax Credit or help people file a simplified tax return to sign up for these payments as well as Economic Impact Payments, and other credits you may be eligible to receive.

Under the American Rescue Plan, 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. Normally, anyone who receives a payment this month will also receive a payment each month for the rest of 2021 unless they unenroll. Besides the July 15 payment, payment dates are: Aug. 13, Sept. 15, Oct. 15, Nov. 15 and Dec. 15.

Here are further details on these payments:

  • Families will see the direct deposit payments in their accounts starting today, July 15. For those receiving payment by paper check, they should remember to take into consideration the time it takes to receive it by mail.
  • Payments went to eligible families who filed 2019 or 2020 income tax returns.
  • Tax returns processed by June 28 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 or in 2021 successfully used the Non-filer Sign-up Tool for Advance CTC, also on IRS.gov.
  • Payments are automatic. Aside from filing a tax return, including 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.

Am I eligible? 

Families with one or more children under 18 years old qualify for the full child tax credit amount this year if their income is less than:

  • $75,000 for individuals filing their taxes alone 
  • $112,500 for individuals filing as the head of household, such as single parents
  • $150,000 for a married couple jointly filing taxes

People who earn higher incomes still may be eligible for a smaller child tax credit, depending on how much they earn.

Additional information is available on a special Advance Child Tax Credit 2021 page, designed to provide the most up-to-date information about the credit and the advance payments.