Having baby tax credit score fee issues? We’ll clarify what to do

5 child tax credit payment problems we can help you solve

Incorrect funds could be resulting from outdated IRS data. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

For the reason that baby tax credit score funds began rolling out over the summer time, there have been issues every month for some eligible dad and mom. As an illustration, a fee may not have been issued resulting from inaccurate or outdated data on a 2020 tax return, or as a result of the IRS does not know your loved ones is eligible. You could be one of many households that acquired a paper verify as an alternative of direct deposit. With USPS mail slowdowns, it may very well be some time earlier than you get your cash. 

In case your final baby tax credit score fee was a no-show or was for a unique quantity than anticipated, the IRS provided a couple of explanations. In accordance with the newest assertion from the tax company, a technical problem induced 2% of recipients to overlook the September verify. 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 father or mother — 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 couple of steps now earlier than the following month-to-month funds on Oct. 15, Nov. 15 and Dec. 15. Begin by double-checking your data within the IRS Replace Portal and making any needed adjustments to your account earlier than the following deadline, which is Nov. 1, 11:59 p.m. ET. It is too late to replace your particulars for the October fee.

You might also must verify your eligibility to ensure you qualify. If all the things provides up, we’ll clarify different methods to get clues about your cash. Plus, this is the newest on the baby tax credit score probably being prolonged till 2025 and unenrollment deadlines to remember. This story was up to date lately. 

1. My baby tax credit score fee is late

Primarily based on the newest IRS assertion, 2% of households resulting from 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, based on the IRS

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

  • In the event you’re married submitting collectively and just one partner lately up to date your checking account or tackle within the IRS Replace Portal, you will have not acquired a September fee. This technical problem needs to be corrected shortly. 
  • Your fee was despatched by mail and it is nonetheless held up by the US Postal Service. Resulting from a technical problem in August, thousands and thousands of households acquired their checks by snail mail as an alternative of direct deposit. 
  • You may have a mixed-status family utilizing an Particular person Taxpayer Identification Quantity (or the place one father or mother 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 does 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 does not assume you qualify, even when 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 in a position to replace these particulars within the IRS portal but (the choice so as to add dependents needs to be accessible quickly).
  • Your family’s circumstances in 2020 disqualified you, despite the fact that your state of affairs 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. In the event you determine to reenroll within the month-to-month fee program, you’ll achieve this later this fall.

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 finally 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 possibility is made accessible
You’ll be able to’t discover any motive why you did not get a fee It could be time to file a fee hint with the IRS

2. My baby 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 shortly confirm your eligibility by way of the Eligibility Assistant. Then we propose utilizing CNET’s baby tax credit score calculator to see how a lot you ought to be receiving based mostly in your earnings and the ages of your dependents.

One doable motive 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 outdated tackle or checking account. One more reason 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 lately), and the company solely lately adjusted fee eligibility quantities for the third month-to-month verify. 

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

Remember that dad and mom of youngsters youthful than age 6 can obtain as much as $300 monthly or $250 for kids aged 6 to 17, however these quantities part out for greater earners. So, in case your earnings was considerably greater 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 must 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 verify did are available in September, your whole advance credit score might 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 monthly for every baby below age 6 and as much as $375 monthly for every baby ages 6 by way of 17, based on the IRS.

Some dad and mom may see an incorrect (or greater) fee quantity within the Replace Portal resulting from having a closed or invalid checking account on file. In accordance with the IRS (query G12 on that web page), if the company has to reissue a fee as a paper verify after a failed try at direct deposit, the whole 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 the right way to verify on my fee standing 

The best method 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 whole 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. If 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 count on all additional funds to come back 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 ensure it is cleared. In accordance 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 (until there’s been an adjustment resulting from a lacking fee). Do not get this residue confused with these for stimulus checks, which present up as “TAXEIP3” when deposited. Additionally, when you’re ready on a tax refund, it will present up as “TAX REF.”

In the event you’ve verified your eligibility, and your account says that your funds had been issued however they’re nonetheless lacking, you could 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 no less than 5 days for the reason that scheduled deposit date, or 4 weeks for the reason that fee was mailed by verify. We clarify the right way to file a fee hint right here.

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4. I’m 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.

5. I got sent 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 Nov. 1. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

What about extending the child tax credit to 2025?

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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