An $1,800 Stimulus Check Could Be Coming Before Christmas

Another stimulus check will arrive for some Americans right before Christmas, but the rules to qualify are more specific than ever. The last batch of 2021 child tax credit payments will be distributed on Wednesday, Dec. 15. Depending on how they chose to take that money, some recipients will be getting as much as $1,800.

The child tax credit was a part of the $1.9 trillion stimulus package passed by Congress earlier this year, and was intended to help buoy families through the COVID-19 pandemic. Most eligible recipients have been getting monthly payments since July for $250 to $300 per child under the age of 17. However, some needed to confirm their eligibility with the IRS, delaying the start of payments and thereby increasing the overall amounts. Others opted to take one lump sum rather than dispersed payments throughout the last six months.

One way or another, the child tax credit was designed to give families $3,000 total for each child between the ages of 6 and 17 years old, and another $2,000 to $3,600 for each child under the age of six. The plan was to distribute half of this money in monthly payments from July to December of 2021, then include the other half in tax returns filed at the beginning of 2022. The IRS issued a statement to BGR this month saying that many families who signed up before Nov. 15 are getting a lump sum for all the missed monthly payments in December.

"This means a payment of up to $1,800 for each child under 6," the agency said. "And up to $1,500 for each child age 6 to 17. This is the same total amount that most other families have been receiving in up to six monthly payments that began in July."

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Any eligible stragglers who didn't sign up by the Nov. 15 deadline will still get their money, but in one lump sum with their tax return next year. Meanwhile, President Joe Biden's Build Back Better plan includes an extension of this child tax credit program, so there could be more aid for families in 2022. This one would consist of 12 small monthly payments starting in January, and would cover 90 percent of American households with children. The plan is still up for debate among lawmakers. For full information on the child tax credit, visit the IRS website here.