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Waiting on Your Child Tax Credit Refund? Find Out When It Could Arrive

 Waiting on Your Child Tax Credit Refund? Find Out When It Could Arrive

If you’ve filed your tax return with the IRS and you claimed the child tax credit, you’re likely wondering when your tax refund will arrive. Fortunately, you can check the status of your tax return online instead of anxiously checking your bank account each morning.

This story is part of Taxes 2024, CNET’s coverage of the best tax software, tax tips and everything else you need to file your return and track your refund.

Note that if you haven’t gotten your refund yet, it could be because you claimed the child tax credit or the earned income tax credit, which takes a bit longer to process. By law, the IRS couldn’t begin sending tax refunds to those claiming the credits until the middle of February at the earliest.

With lots of news around the child tax credit this year — including 16 states that also have a credit, and Congress working on an expanded credit — we’ll explain when you can expect your refund if you’re 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 to expect your child tax credit refund

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

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.

If you haven’t received your money yet and you’re claiming the credit, you should be able to see your projected deposit date by checking the IRS’ Where’s My Refund tool. 

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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