Baby tax credit score: 5 widespread issues for folks and what to do about them

5 child tax credit payment problems we can help you solve

Incorrect funds is likely to be as a result of outdated IRS info. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Because the rollout of the improved credit score over the summer season, there have been complications every month for some eligible dad and mom. For instance, a fee won’t have been issued as a result of inaccurate or outdated info on a 2020 tax return, or as a result of the IRS would not know your loved ones qualifies. You is likely to be one of many households that acquired a paper examine as an alternative of direct deposit. With USPS mail slowdowns, that might take some time. 

In case your final youngster tax credit score fee was a no-show or was for a distinct quantity than anticipated, the IRS provided a pair explanations. In line with a the latest assertion from the tax company, a technical subject precipitated 2% of recipients to overlook the September examine. Some households acquired lower than anticipated as a result of a correction was made to a 2020 tax return, or as a result of just one dad or mum — not each — up to date the IRS on checking account or mailing deal with particulars.

It is not straightforward to get in contact with the IRS for assist with fee issues, however you’ll be able to take a couple of steps now earlier than the subsequent month-to-month funds on Oct. 15, Nov. 15 and Dec. 15. Begin by double-checking your info within the IRS Replace Portal and making any vital modifications to your account earlier than the subsequent deadline, which is Monday, Oct. 4, 11:59 p.m. ET

You might also have to examine your eligibility to make sure you qualify. If the whole lot provides up, we’ll clarify different methods to get clues about your cash. Plus, this is the newest on the kid tax credit score probably being prolonged till 2025 and unenrollment deadlines to bear in mind. This story was up to date just lately. 

1. My youngster tax credit score fee nonetheless hasn’t arrived

Based mostly on the newest IRS assertion, 2% of households as a result of obtain the credit score, amounting to roughly 700,000 households, didn’t obtain their Sept. 15 fee. The households affected ought to have acquired their funds in subsequent weeks, in accordance with the IRS

Listed below are a lot of different explanation why your loved ones hasn’t acquired a July, August or September fee. 

  • In case you are married submitting collectively and just one partner just lately up to date your checking account or deal with within the IRS Replace Portal, you might have not acquired a September fee. This technical subject needs to be corrected shortly. 
  • Your fee was despatched by mail and it is nonetheless held up by the US Postal Service. As a consequence of a technical subject in August, hundreds of thousands of households acquired their checks by snail mail as an alternative of direct deposit. 
  • You might have a mixed-status family utilizing an Particular person Taxpayer Identification Quantity (or the place one dad or mum 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 loved ones by no means filed a 2019 or 2020 tax return, so the IRS would not know that you simply 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 would not suppose you qualify, even if you happen to now have a main residence within the US.
  • Your new child or adopted dependent turned a part of your family after you filed a 2020 tax return, and you have not been capable of replace these particulars within the IRS portal but (the choice so as to add dependents needs to be obtainable quickly).
  • Your family’s circumstances in 2020 disqualified you, although your state of affairs has now modified in 2021. This may very well 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 whenever you file your taxes in 2022. For those who resolve to reenroll within the month-to-month fee program, you’ll achieve this later this fall.

Causes you have not acquired a toddler 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 deal with is fallacious Change your particulars within the Replace Portal now
Your revenue or variety of children has modified Replace your particulars when that possibility is made obtainable
You may’t discover any purpose why you did not get a fee It could be time to file a fee hint with the IRS

2. My youngster tax credit score is not the correct quantity 

There are a number of explanation why households are reporting inaccurate fee quantities. First, you will wish to shortly confirm your eligibility by means of the Eligibility Assistant. Then we recommend utilizing CNET’s youngster tax credit score calculator to see how a lot you ought to be receiving primarily based in your revenue and the ages of your dependents.

One risk for a decrease September fee is as a result of just one partner modified an deal with or checking account within the IRS Replace Portal. In that case, the opposite partner’s half may have gone to the previous deal with or checking account. Another excuse why dad and mom are getting inaccurate fee quantities is as a result of the IRS processed your 2020 tax return late (or it wasn’t filed till just lately), and the company solely just lately adjusted fee eligibility quantities for the third month-to-month examine. 

A further complication is that there is presently no approach to inform the IRS of family modifications — like adjusted gross revenue or quantity (or ages) of youngsters — between the 2020 and 2021 tax seasons. The tax company says it’s going to finally add extra performance to the Replace Portal to permit dad and mom so as to add or subtract qualifying youngsters, or report a change in marital standing or revenue. 

Needless to say dad and mom of youngsters youthful than age 6 can obtain as much as $300 per 30 days or $250 for youngsters aged 6 to 17, however these quantities part out for increased earners. So, in case your revenue was considerably increased final yr otherwise you did not declare a dependent in your 2020 tax return, you would possibly get much less of the credit score than you need to this yr primarily based on the prior figures that the IRS has on file.

If your loved ones did not get a July or August fee however your first month-to-month advance examine did are available September, your complete advance credit score can be divided over 4 months as an alternative of six months. That may end in bigger advance month-to-month funds: as much as $450 per 30 days for every youngster below age 6 and as much as $375 per 30 days for every youngster ages 6 by means of 17, in accordance with the IRS.

Some dad and mom can also see an incorrect (or increased) fee quantity within the Replace Portal as a result of having a closed or invalid checking account on file. In line with the IRS (query G12 on that web page), if the company has to reissue a fee as a paper examine after a failed try at direct deposit, the full quantity that seems within the funds processed part of the portal could also be double, even when your loved ones acquired the correct quantity by mail. The IRS is presently working to repair this error. 

3. I do not know tips on how to examine my fee standing on-line 

The best approach to see what’s occurring 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 entire advance funds, you will have to first create an account.

If the portal says your fee is coming by mail, give it a number of enterprise days (or extra) to reach. When you have direct deposit arrange, be sure that all the knowledge 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 now not legitimate, you need to count on 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, examine your checking account once more within the subsequent few days to ensure it is cleared. In line with the White Home web site, transactions will present the corporate identify “IRS TREAS 310” with an outline of “CHILDCTC” and an quantity for as much as $300 per child (except there’s been an adjustment as a result of a lacking fee). Do not get this residue confused with these for stimulus checks, which present up as “TAXEIP3” when deposited. Additionally, if you happen to’re ready on a tax refund, it will present up as “TAX REF.”

For those who’ve verified your eligibility, and your account says that your funds had been issued however they’re nonetheless lacking, chances are you’ll have to file a fee hint with the IRS. To do this, you will want to finish Type 3911 (PDF) and mail or fax it to the IRS. Solely do that if it has been no less than 5 days for the reason that scheduled deposit date, or 4 weeks for the reason that fee was mailed by examine. We clarify tips on how to file a fee hint right here.

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Child tax credit: Everything we know


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

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 p.m. 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.

5. I got paid too much and I don’t want to owe the IRS money 

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

What about extending the child tax credit to 2025?

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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