5 IRS little one tax credit score fee issues and what to do

5 child tax credit payment problems we can help you solve

Incorrect funds may be because of outdated IRS info. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Is your September little one tax credit score fee a no-show? Whereas most eligible households mechanically acquired their checks final week through direct deposit, many eligible mother and father are nonetheless ready. And it is not simply mother and father who have not acquired any checks — even households who received the primary two funds are lacking this month’s cash, and there aren’t many updates but. The IRS is conscious of the issue and posted this tweet that it is trying into September’s fee hiccup.

It is not straightforward to get in contact with the IRS for assist with fee issues, however there are just a few steps you possibly can take proper now whereas ready for an replace. Begin by double-checking your info within the IRS Replace Portal. You might also have to verify your eligibility to make sure you qualify. If every little thing provides up, listed here are just a few different methods to get clues about your cash. 

If you happen to discover a fee was by no means issued in any respect, it may be because of inaccurate or outdated info out of your 2020 tax return, or perhaps the IRS does not know your loved ones qualifies. We’ll clarify what you are able to do now to verify the standing of your funds and different issues that oldsters are having. Plus, here is the most recent on the little one tax credit score probably being prolonged till 2025. And if it’s essential choose out, listed here are the unenrollment deadlines to bear in mind. This story was lately up to date. 

My little one tax credit score funds have not been processed but

There are a variety of attainable the explanation why your loved ones hasn’t acquired a July, August or September fee. 

  • Your loved ones by no means filed a 2019 or 2020 tax return, so the IRS does not know that you just qualify. If that is the case, use the nonfiler signup device on-line to register for funds (the final day to enroll is Oct. 15). 
  • You lived within the US lower than half the yr in 2019 or 2020, and the IRS does not assume you qualify, even should you now have a main residence within the US.
  • Your new child or adopted dependent grew to become a part of your family after you filed a 2020 tax return, and you have not been in a position to replace these particulars within the IRS portal but (the choice so as to add dependents ought to be accessible quickly).
  • Your family’s circumstances in 2020 disqualified you, despite the fact that your scenario has now modified in 2021. This could possibly be the case in case your revenue was beforehand too excessive or if there was a shift in a custody association.
  • You already unenrolled from this yr’s advance month-to-month funds utilizing the IRS Replace Portal. If that is the case, your loved ones will obtain the credit score while you file your taxes in 2022. If you happen to resolve to reenroll within the month-to-month fee program, you can achieve this later this month.
  • You have got a mixed-status family utilizing an Particular person Taxpayer Identification Quantity (or the place one guardian is an immigrant and the kid has a Social Safety quantity). Due to an IRS mishap, these households might not have acquired their first July fee, however ought to have certified for adjusted quantities in August and September. 
  • Your fee was despatched by mail and it is nonetheless held up by the US Postal Service. As a consequence of a technical situation in August, hundreds of thousands of households acquired their checks by snail mail as an alternative of direct deposit. Whereas the IRS appears to have mounted the issue for the September fee, some mother and father are nonetheless reporting late checks. 

Causes you have not acquired a baby tax credit score fee

The issue What to do
You did not file a 2019 or 2020 tax return Use the IRS nonfiler signup device to register
Your fee is coming within the mail Give it time to reach, because it may take weeks
You unenrolled from advance month-to-month funds Reenroll in late September by means of the Replace Portal
Your financial institution data or mailing tackle is fallacious Change your particulars within the Replace Portal now
Your revenue or variety of youngsters has modified Replace your particulars when that possibility is made accessible
You may’t discover any cause why you did not get a fee It might be time to file a fee hint with the IRS

I do not know easy methods to verify my fee standing on-line

The simplest approach to see what’s taking place together with your earlier checks is to log in to the IRS Replace Portal to view your fee historical past. To make use of it to handle your whole advance funds, you will have to first create an ID.me account.

If the portal says your fee is coming by mail, give it a number of enterprise days (or extra) to reach. In case you have direct deposit arrange, be certain all the data is correct. If you have not arrange banking particulars within the portal, or if the checking account on file with the IRS has closed or is not legitimate, you must anticipate all additional funds to return as paper checks.

In case your fee historical past within the portal says that the cash was despatched by direct deposit, verify your checking account once more within the subsequent few days to verify it is cleared. In accordance with the White Home web site, transactions will present the corporate title “IRS TREAS 310” with an outline of “CHILDCTC” and an quantity for as much as $300 per child (until there’s been an adjustment because of a lacking fee). Do not get this sediment confused with these for stimulus checks, which present up as “TAXEIP3” when deposited. Additionally, should you’re ready on a tax refund, it will present up as “TAX REF.”

If you happen to’ve verified your eligibility, and your account says that your funds had been issued however they’re nonetheless lacking, you could have to file a fee hint with the IRS. To do this, you will want to finish Kind 3911 (PDF) and mail or fax it to the IRS. Solely do that if it has been a minimum of 5 days because the scheduled deposit date, or 4 weeks because the fee was mailed by verify. We clarify easy methods to file a fee hint right here.

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I’m not eligible for the child tax credit, but I got a check 

With the IRS sending out millions of child tax credit payments, along with keeping up with income tax refunds and unemployment tax refunds, it’s certainly possible the agency could have made a mistake and sent you a check even if you don’t qualify. For instance, some people who weren’t qualified for stimulus checks still received payments. It could also be that your family qualified in prior years but will not qualify when they file their 2021 tax return in 2022. 

If you’re absolutely positive you’re not eligible for this year’s enhanced child tax credit payments but you got a payment, you’ll need to return that money to the IRS. Start by using the Update Portal to unenroll from future payments — the next deadline is Oct. 4., 11:59 pm ET. This will help you avoid having to pay back more money when you file taxes in 2022

Keep in mind that both parents need to unenroll separately. If your spouse unenrolls and you don’t, you’ll get half of the joint payment you were supposed to receive with your spouse.

My child tax credit check amount isn’t right

There are a couple of reasons why families are reporting inaccurate payment amounts. First, you’ll want to quickly verify your eligibility through the Eligibility Assistant. Then we suggest using CNET’s child tax credit calculator to see how much you should be receiving based on your income and the ages of your dependents.

The primary reason why parents are getting inaccurate payment amounts seems to be that their adjusted gross income or number (or ages) of children has changed between the 2020 and 2021 tax seasons, and the IRS hasn’t yet adjusted for the difference. An additional complication is that there’s currently no way to inform the IRS of those household changes. The tax agency says it will eventually add more functionality to the Update Portal to allow parents to add or subtract qualifying children, or report a change in marital status or income. 

Also, parents of children younger than age 6 can receive up to $300 per month or $250 for children aged 6 to 17, but those amounts phase out for higher earners. So, if your income was significantly higher last year or you didn’t claim a dependent on your 2020 tax return, you might get less of the credit than you should this year based on the prior figures that the IRS has on file.

If your family didn’t get a July or August payment but your first monthly advance check did come in September, your total advance credit will be divided over four months instead of six months. That will result in larger advance monthly payments: up to $450 per month for each child under age 6 and up to $375 per month for each child ages 6 through 17, according to the IRS.

Some parents may also see an incorrect (higher) payment amount in the Update Portal due to having a closed or invalid bank account on file. According to the IRS (question G12 on that page), if the agency has to reissue a payment as a paper check after a failed attempt at direct deposit, the total amount that appears in the payments processed section of the portal may be double, even if your family received the correct amount by mail. The IRS is currently working to fix this error. 

I got paid more than I’m eligible for and I’m worried about having to repay the IRS

If you’re eligible for the full amount of child tax credit money, you won’t have to pay it back. Child tax credit payments do not count as income. However, if you no longer qualify for the full amount but you receive the full amount anyway, you may need to pay back that extra money.

An overpayment from the IRS may occur if your income went up this year (meaning you’re getting too much money based on old tax info) or if your child is aging out of a payment bracket this year (meaning the IRS is determining amounts for a 5-year-old instead of your 6-year-old). The age brackets for dependents apply to how old your child will be at the end of this calendar year. The IRS says you should be able to sign in to the Update Portal to make these kinds of adjustments to your child tax credit account sometime this month.

The agency is using what it calls “repayment protection,” so if you do receive an overpayment but fall below a set income level, you don’t have to pay the money back. Above that income level, you will have to pay back some or all of the extra funds. Here’s more on taxes and how repayment protection works.


The next deadline to opt out of the remaining monthly child tax credit payments is Oct. 4. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Will the enhanced child tax credit be extended? 

As of right now, the increased payments are temporary, just for the 2021 tax year. That means after you get your final payment with your tax refund in 2022, the child tax credit could revert back to its original amount from previous years. 

However, it’s possible Washington could extend the payments or make this year’s changes permanent. Those changes increased the credit from $2,000 to $3,000, made the credit $3,600 for children under age 6 and let families qualify if they have little or no income. 

In a $3.5 trillion plan released on Sept. 10 to provide tax breaks for families and renewable energy producers, House Democrats proposed extending the child tax credit through 2025 and keeping it nonrefundable so that low-income households can collect the maximum amount even if they don’t owe taxes. On Sept. 15, some 450 economists signed an open letter to congressional leaders calling to extend the child tax credit, noting that it could “dramatically improve the lives of millions of children” and help reduce poverty. 

The Senate is drafting the next budget bill, and lawmakers still need to reach an agreement. We’ll continue to update this story as we find out more. 

Here’s how to opt out of advance payments and how to track down your child tax credit payment if you didn’t receive it. Not sure you got the right amount? Use CNET’s child tax credit calculator to see how much you should get.

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