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Careful with those child tax credit payments

We received some extra cash from the IRS this month. I had to move it into savings right away, because in our situation the new advances are not really advantageous. Getting cash in parents’s hands is a good idea for the country and for people who we actually need that extra cash for necessities now. I fully support the program. But for my family it comes out the same as the Trump administration’s payroll tax holiday: we get an advance now but have to pay it back next year. Here is why: we prepay our estimated taxes and the old child tax credit was calculated into those quarterly payments. Now we get more per kid which is a direct cash benefit. But we will not be able to use the deduction in our 2021 tax return because we are already receiving the cash now. The only way to protect from that liability is to move the child tax credit payments to savings right away so they are available on April 15, 2022 when the IRS wants the money back.