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What parents need to know about the Child Tax Credit program

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QUINCY, IL. (WGEM) -- Parents, heads up, the roll out of the advanced child tax credit starts Thursday, July 15.

Local tax preparers at Beers Tax Service said parents could start receiving checks in their mailboxes or checking account because of the child tax credits approved by the Biden administration.

These are part of the tax program and these are not stimulus checks.

Linda Beers said these are advanced child tax credits given to families early that they would otherwise get in their tax return next year.

The Biden Administration temporarily expanded the credit to include additional money because of the pandemic.

It increases the benefit from $2,000 to $3,000 for each child over the age of six and $3,600 for children under six.

“The stimulus checks were also available for anyone who fit in that income range. With the child tax credit, you have to have an eligible child in your household that you can claim as a dependent."

Beers says families could begin receiving up to $300 a month per child under the age of 6 and $250 per child under 18.

However, there is an option to opt out of the credit so you can receive it in a lump sum during next tax season.

The deadline has passed to opt out of this months payment, but you can still opt out of later payments. Beers said accepting the payments now means you could owe money later if your income changes.

“If you receive this advanced payment, then you’re not eligible for that credit on your tax return, you may owe at the end of the year instead of receiving a refund. Then if you owe too much, you could have a penalty for not having enough payed in.”

Beers said many families also count on the lump sum at the beginning of the year with their tax return to help pay off debts or other large bills, so getting these payments now means you will get less money on your next tax return.

Beers said everyone’s taxes are different, so it’s best to reach out to a local tax preparer or use the tax credit tool on the IRS website to see what will be the best for your family.

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