Child Tax Credit: When Will the IRS Start Refunding Your Credit Money this Tax Season?

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For those early birds this year who’ve already submitted their tax returnsthe IRS has send back $13 billion in refunds. (Here’s how to check the status of your refund.)

If you’ve filed and claimed the child tax credit or the earned income tax credit and perhaps you’re still waiting for your refund. Why? The IRS, by law, is required to wait till the middle of February at the earliest to process and send credit money.

With lots of news around the child tax credit this year — including 15 states that also have a credit, and Congress working on an expanded credit — we’ll explain when you can expect your refund if you are claiming a credit. 

For more, here’s our essential cheat sheet for filing this year. Need more help filing your taxes? Here’s how to file for free

Read more: Best Tax Software for 2024

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What is the child tax credit and additional child tax credit?

The child tax credit is a tax break families can receive if they have qualifying children. The amount a family can receive is up to $2,000 per child, but it’s only partially refundable. That means if not all is applied to any taxes you owe to lower your tax bill, you may not receive the additional money left over. 

The refundable portion is called the additional child tax credit, and this year the refundable amount is $1,600. 

When can you expect your child tax credit refund this year

The IRS told CNET that most child tax credit and earned income tax credit refunds should be available in bank accounts or on debit cards by Feb. 27 for taxpayers who have filed and chose direct deposit — there are no other issues with their tax return. 

As of Feb. 17, the IRS told CNET, tax filers claiming the credit should be able to see their projected deposit dates by checking the agency’s Where’s My Refund tool

The delay, according to the IRS, is because the agency cannot issue refunds involving the additional child tax credit (and the earned income tax credit) before mid-February. The agency, by law, is required to use the extra time to prevent fraudulent refunds.

For more tax information, here’s why you should file as soon as possible. Also, here’s how to submit your tax return to the IRS for free.

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