As part of the COVID relief packages approved by the government, American households were granted additional benefits to help lessen the hardship brought on by the pandemic. Two of these benefits were stimulus checks and child tax credits, which provide cash assistance to those who qualify.
Stimulus Checks: The U.S. government rolled out three rounds of stimulus checks, also known as Economic Impact Payments, for qualifying Americans. The amounts of each check were $1,200, $600 and $1,400 per person, in that order.
Married couples who filed taxes jointly received a single check that was double the single-person amount. Families with children received an extra amount per stimulus check: $500, $400 and $1,400 per child.
To qualify for a stimulus check, you must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien with a valid Social Security number and not be dependent on another tax-paying citizen.
Another requirement is that you must fall within the income brackets, and the maximum income requirements for each stimulus check varied.
Qualifying Americans received stimulus checks in the form of paper checks, an IRS debit card or direct deposit to the same bank account where they receive their tax refund.
If you have not received one or more of your stimulus checks, you can claim a Recovery Rebate Credit on your next tax return. You can also contact the IRS to receive a stimulus update and determine if you are eligible for this rebate.
Child Tax Credit: Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, families can now receive monthly payments for each child in their household.
Couples with children who make up to $150,000 per year or single parents who make up to $112,500 per year are eligible to receive $250 or $300 per child.
These monthly payments are actually advance payments for half of the tax credit, and you can receive the rest of the credit when you file your 2024 income tax return.
You can check the status of these payments online on the IRS website as well as manage where you receive payments, such as through direct deposit in your bank account or a check via mail.