Have youngster tax credit score fee issues? We’ll offer you some options

5 child tax credit payment problems we can help you solve

Incorrect funds is likely to be on account of outdated IRS info. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

The kid tax credit score funds have been rolling out month-to-month since July, and the following one is scheduled for Oct. 15. However there have been issues with each examine for some eligible dad and mom. As an example, you won’t have gotten a fee due to inaccurate or outdated info in your 2020 tax return, or as a result of the IRS does not know your loved ones is eligible. Otherwise you is likely to be one of many households that obtained a paper examine as a substitute of direct deposit. With USPS mail slowdowns, it may very well be some time earlier than you get your cash. 

In case your final youngster tax credit score fee by no means arrived or was for a unique quantity than anticipated, the IRS provided a number of explanations. In keeping with the latest assertion from the tax company, a technical problem brought on 2% of recipients to overlook the September examine. Some households obtained 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 with their checking account or mailing tackle particulars.

It isn’t straightforward to get in contact with the IRS for assist with fee issues, however you possibly can take a number of steps now earlier than the November and December month-to-month funds come. (It is too late to replace your particulars for the October fee.) Begin by double-checking your info within the IRS Replace Portal and making any mandatory modifications to your account earlier than the following deadline, which is Nov. 1, 11:59 p.m. ET

You may additionally must examine your eligibility to ensure you qualify. If all the things provides up, we’ll clarify different methods to get clues about your cash. Plus, here is the most recent on the youngster tax credit score presumably being prolonged till 2025 and unenrollment deadlines to remember. This story was up to date just lately. 

Why your youngster tax credit score fee is late

Primarily based on the most recent IRS assertion, 2% of households on account of obtain the credit score, amounting to roughly 700,000 households, didn’t obtain their Sept. 15 fee. The households affected ought to have obtained their funds in subsequent weeks, in accordance with the IRS

Listed here are a lot of different doable the explanation why your loved ones hasn’t obtained a July, August or September fee. 

  • Should you’re married submitting collectively and just one partner just lately up to date your checking account or tackle within the IRS Replace Portal, you’ll have not obtained a September fee. This technical problem must be corrected shortly. 
  • Your fee was despatched by mail and it is nonetheless held up by the US Postal Service. Attributable to a technical problem in August, thousands and thousands of households obtained their checks by snail mail as a substitute of direct deposit. 
  • You’ve 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 could not have obtained 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 does not know that you just qualify. If that is the case, use the nonfiler signup instrument 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 in case you 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 must be out there this fall).
  • Your family’s circumstances in 2020 disqualified you, despite the fact that your scenario has now modified in 2021. This may very well be the case in case your earnings 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 once you file your taxes in 2022. Should you resolve to reenroll within the month-to-month fee program, you’ll achieve this later this fall.

Causes you have not obtained 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 instrument 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 ultimately by way of the Replace Portal
Your financial institution information or mailing tackle is incorrect Change your particulars within the Replace Portal now
Your earnings or variety of youngsters has modified Replace your particulars when that choice is made out there
You’ll be able to’t discover any cause why you did not get a fee It could be time to file a fee hint with the IRS

Why your youngster tax credit score fee was the incorrect quantity 

There are a number of the explanation why households are reporting inaccurate fee quantities. First, you may need to rapidly confirm your eligibility by way of the Eligibility Assistant. Then we advise utilizing CNET’s youngster tax credit score calculator to see how a lot you need to be receiving based mostly in your earnings and the ages of your dependents.

One doable cause for a decrease September fee is that if just one partner modified an tackle or checking account within the IRS Replace Portal. In that case, the opposite partner’s half may have gone to the previous tackle or checking account. Another excuse why dad and mom are getting inaccurate fee quantities is that if 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. 

An extra complication is that there is at the moment no solution to inform the IRS of family modifications — like adjusted gross earnings or quantity (or ages) of youngsters — between the 2020 and 2021 tax seasons. The tax company says it can ultimately 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 earnings. 

Understand that dad and mom of youngsters youthful than age 6 can obtain as much as $300 per 30 days or $250 for kids aged 6 to 17, however these quantities part out for increased earners. So, in case your earnings was considerably increased final yr otherwise you did not declare a dependent in your 2020 tax return, you may get much less of the credit score than it’s best to this yr based mostly 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 in September, your complete advance credit score shall be divided over 4 months as a substitute of six months. That may end in bigger advance month-to-month funds: as much as $450 per 30 days for every youngster beneath age 6 and as much as $375 per 30 days for every youngster ages 6 by way of 17, in accordance with the IRS.

Some dad and mom may additionally see an incorrect (or increased) fee quantity within the Replace Portal on account of having a closed or invalid checking account on file. In keeping 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 entire quantity that seems within the funds processed part of the portal could also be double, even when your loved ones obtained the correct quantity by mail. The IRS is at the moment working to repair this error. 

The best way to examine in your fee standing 

The simplest solution 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 entire advance funds, you may must first create an ID.me account.

If the portal says your fee is coming by mail, give it a number of enterprise days to reach. When you’ve got direct deposit arrange, ensure that 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, it’s best 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 verify it is cleared. In keeping 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 on account of a lacking fee). Do not get this accretion confused with these for stimulus checks, which present up as “TAXEIP3” when deposited. Additionally, in case you’re ready on a tax refund, it will present up as “TAX REF.”

Should you’ve verified your eligibility, and your account says that your funds have been issued however they’re nonetheless lacking, it’s possible you’ll must file a fee hint with the IRS. To try this, you may want to finish Type 3911 (PDF) and mail or fax it to the IRS. Solely do that if it has been not less than 5 days because the scheduled deposit date, or 4 weeks because the fee was mailed by examine. We clarify how one can file a fee hint right here.

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What to do if you’re not eligible for the child tax credit, but still 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 Nov. 111:59 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.

What to do if you got sent too much and 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 Nov. 1. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

What to know about extending the child tax credit

As of right now, the increased payments are still 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. 

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. 

Now Washington is debating on extending this year’s changes, but some lawmakers are pressing for a work requirement. The current changes to the 2021 child tax credit made the credit $3,600 for children under age 6 and let families qualify if they have little or no income. 

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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