Child tax credit dollars hit bank accounts of eligible parents

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The child tax credit has made its way to families across the country. Eligible parents are now receiving payments either through direct deposit or in the mail.

A number of them were all smiles about this first disbursement. A total of $15 billion went out Thursday, July 15, and families in Wisconsin got over $262-thousand of that.

"He's a mover," Aaliyah Dickinson said of her 9-month-old baby. "He likes to crawl. He likes to read. He likes to play with toys…and microphones…and microphones."

Aaliyah Dickinson's looking forward to having the extra cash from the child tax credit to pay for Zy'Aire's needs. 

"Toys, lots of toys, maybe some more clothes. He already got a lot of clothes, but maybe a little more. I think it can benefit a lot of parents and stuff who need the extra money to help with their kids," said Dickinson.

The child tax credit's paying out $300 a month until the end of the year for kids under six, and $250 for ages six-17. Parents who jointly make over $150-thousand a year will get less. 

"So it's nice to have extra money to help with bills if anything comes short or anything like that. Now that he's a lot bigger he's growing out of stuff like crazy," said Lexi Langston, mom.

Monthly payments started Thursday and go for six months.

"And those are advance payments that are actually half of the total credit. You'll get the other half when you file your 2020 tax return," said Christopher Miller, IRS spokesman.

To qualify, it's for children 17 and under. Children must have a Social Security number and parents must live in the U.S. for more than half the year or file a joint return with a spouse who does.

If you're divorced, or going through a divorce, which parent gets the credit may seem unclear.

"And if you know that in tax year 2021 your situation is going to change, perhaps you were divorced and you are no longer able to claim those children on your tax return, then you should opt out or be ready to potentially return that money," said Miller.

If you received a payment Thursday but know that in tax year 2021 you won't be able to claim your kids on your tax return, then you should go on the IRS website and opt out of the program. Otherwise, when you file your 2021 return, you'll have to give the money back.

IRS.gov also has a place where you can check your eligibility. 

For more helpful tips, click here.

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