November 16, 2021

Scam alert: Child tax credit is automatic; no need to apply

By Bev O’Shea | NerdWallet

It almost sounds too good to be true: Most families with kids will start receiving monthly checks for up to $300 per child this summer, starting in mid-July and continuing through December. And they don’t have to do anything, except perhaps keep the money safe from scammers.

“It’s the fact that people don’t have to do anything that scammers are going to glom onto and say, ‘Oh, yes, you do,’” says Federal Trade Commission spokesperson Colleen Tressler. “If you don’t have to do anything, that just sounds too easy.”

Scammers will say “they’ll help you get the payments faster or earlier, and we know they can’t, or get you more money, which they can’t, or tell you other lies,” she says.

About those checks

The money is an advance on half of the child tax credit for tax year 2021. Families will get the other half when they file their 2021 taxes next year. Or they can opt out of this…

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