The second round of child tax credit payments reached the homes of nearly 61 million children on Friday — a 2.7% increase from July, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The child tax payments are here. Do you have to pay them back?
Tax nonfilers have 3 weeks to sign up for temporary child tax credit payments

What is the child tax credit payment?

The Biden administration approved the payments as a part of the American Rescue Plan — the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill that passed Congress in March, the Deseret News reported.

That bill expanded the child tax credit from $2,000 per child to $3,000 for children ages 6 through 17, and $3,600 for children under 6. Half of that money is being distributed in six monthly checks from July through December, while the remainder can be claimed when filing taxes for 2021, CBS News reported.

Friday’s payments of up to $300 per child totaled $15.4 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The U.S. Census Bureau said that so far, the payments seem to be aiding in reducing financial distress for families — 57% of parents that received a payment last month spent it on school expenses, while 47% used it for food, according to CBS News.

How the child tax credit payment works

“Most families will receive the payments without having to do anything, and they should receive them through direct deposit, a paper check or a debit card — similar to the three stimulus payments that the federal government sent over the past year,” Business Insider reported.

Those who want to claim a bigger tax refund next year can opt out of the monthly payments through the Child Tax Credit Update Portal, according to CBS News.

Didn’t receive a child tax credit payment?

While most payments are showing up in bank accounts, the U.S. Treasury issued a statement on Friday that said a small percentage of recipients — less than 15% — would end up receiving their August payment in the mail due to a technical issue, the Detroit Free Press reported.

The issue is expected to be resolved by the September payments.

Families can visit the Child Tax Credit Update Portal to check their status and see how they will be receiving the payment.

When will other child tax credit payments arrive?

According to Business Insider, the remaining payments are scheduled to arrive on the following dates:

  • Sept. 15
  • Oct. 15
  • Nov. 15
  • Dec. 15