No more advance child tax credit payments until 2022: What comes next?

Hundred-dollar bills fanned out

December’s disbursement is the final advance child tax credit payment of the year.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Last Friday saw the release of the final advance payment of the US child tax credit for 2021. The American Rescue Plan, passed in March 2021, increased the amount of the child tax credit and created advance monthly payments. The House of Representatives passed an extension of the child tax credit increase and advance payments when it ratified the Build Back Better bill in November. However, comments from West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin on Sunday indicate he won’t support the Build Back Better bill. Since his vote is required for passage of the bill, many families are worried about the future of the child tax credit.

If you have direct deposit set up with the IRS, you should have received your final child tax credit payment of 2021 on Friday. Otherwise, a check should arrive in the mail by the end of the December. (With the holiday shipping crunch, mail could be delayed.) December’s payment is the last one you’ll receive, but more money should be coming your way in 2022 after you file your 2021 taxes.

With this final advance payment, which in December went out to more than 36 million families, many are wondering what comes next and whether Congress will reauthorize the payments. We’ll explain the latest on whether the government plans to extend the enhanced child tax credit payments beyond 2022. We’ll also tell you what to expect when you file your taxes next year. This story is updated regularly.

Will the IRS keep sending monthly child tax credit checks in 2022?

Congress is still debating whether to extend the advance child tax credit payments in 2022 — and if so, for how long. House Democrats on Nov. 19 passed the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better program that would extend the child tax credit increase and advance payments for an additional year.

Democrats in the Senate, however, have been struggling to convince Manchin to support the bill. The bill needs the support of all 50 Democrats to pass the evenly divided Senate, and Manchin is the lone holdout.

Despite Manchin’s strong indication that he won’t vote for Build Back Better, the Democrats haven’t given up. On Sunday, New Democrat Coalition Chair Suzan DelBene released a statement saying, “Failure is not an option.” On Monday, according to CNBC, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer sent a message to his colleagues in the Senate: “We are going to vote on a revised version of the House-passed Build Back Better Act – and we will keep voting on it until we get something done.” 

There is virtually no chance that Congress will come to an agreement on extending the payments before the new year, meaning there will be no expected payment on Jan. 15. In his letter to senators, Schumer promised a vote on Build Back Better in early January 2022.

How much child tax credit money will you get with your tax refund in 2022?

If you and your family meet the income eligibility requirements and you’ve received each payment between July and December of this year, you can expect to receive up to $1,800 for each child age 5 and younger, or up to $1,500 for each child between the ages of 6 and 17, when you file your 2021 taxes.

If you opted out of receiving payments before the first check went out, you’ll get the full amount you qualify for at once — up to $3,600 per child under 6 and $3,000 per child 6-17. Any payments you missed due to IRS errors or because you unenrolled should be included with your tax refund.


If you opted out of advance payments, you could receive $3,600 per child when you file 2021 taxes.

Sarah Tew/CNET

What if you didn’t receive a payment?

If you’re missing money from one of the previous checks due to an IRS error or outdated information, it may arrive with your December payment. But if it doesn’t, you can either wait for the issue to be resolved when you file your taxes or you can file a payment trace with the IRS. Before you do that, track your check to make sure it’s not already on the way.

Note that if you gained a dependent since you last filed taxes, the IRS wouldn’t have that information on file. If that’s your case, you won’t get any money until you file your taxes next year.

Will the monthly payments you received in 2021 impact your taxes in 2022?

The child tax credit payments you got this year could potentially affect your taxes (for better or worse). Here’s how:

  • You received an overpayment and the IRS didn’t adjust the amount on later payments. You’ll have to pay this back.
  • You received payments you didn’t qualify for. You’ll have to pay the IRS back.
  • Your income changed, and you didn’t report it to the IRS. This could result in a larger or smaller tax refund or you owing the IRS, depending on if your income was higher or lower than what the IRS used to calculate your payment.
  • You opted out of the payments this year, so your payout will be larger next year.
  • You received money for a child who will turn 18 by the end of 2021. You may have to pay that money back.

Your taxes could be affected by the child tax credit payments.

Sarah Tew/CNET

How to claim child tax credit money if you have a baby by the end of December

If you have a baby in December — or adopt one — you’ll be eligible for up to $3,600 for that child when you file your taxes in 2022. That includes back pay for the July through December advance payments and the chunk coming with your refund.

You should get that money when you claim your child on your tax return, which will let the IRS know about your household changes. 

For more information, here’s how to calculate how much child tax credit money you should get, how to use the IRS portals to update your household details and how to contact the IRS about child tax credit questions.

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