In case you did not get your Oct. 15 little one tax credit score test, this is what to learn about monitoring cost

If you didn't get your Oct. 15 child tax credit check, here's what to know about tracking payment

October’s little one tax credit score funds went out to thousands and thousands of households on Friday. However some checks might be late. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

October’s little one tax credit score test was scheduled to exit Friday, Oct. 15 to thousands and thousands of fogeys. There are simply two month-to-month checks left earlier than the ultimate payout throughout tax season 2022. If you have not obtained your October little one tax credit score test, or in the event you’re lacking any cash from July, August or September, we’ll aid you out. 

Final month, the IRS ran right into a technical difficulty that precipitated round 2% of eligible households to overlook September’s cost. It principally affected dad and mom who had lately up to date their checking account or tackle particulars by way of the IRS Replace Portal. The IRS stated it is working to unravel the issue and ship delayed little one tax credit score checks. However some dad and mom are nonetheless ready. 

The glitch is considered one of a number of little one tax credit score issues that folks are dealing with. Some households are getting little one tax credit score checks with the unsuitable quantity. We additionally discovered that if just one guardian in a married family made a correction to banking data or a mailing tackle, it may have diminished the quantity of the cost. Additionally, dad and mom may need obtained extra money than they qualify for on account of outdated tax data from outdated returns, which may additionally have an effect on their taxes subsequent 12 months

We’re right here that can assist you determine how you can observe your cash on-line utilizing the IRS Replace Portal and file a cost hint if a number of weeks have handed and there is not any signal of your cash. Here is what you must know in the event you plan to choose out of the remaining month-to-month checks earlier than the subsequent deadline, Nov. 1 (you may get an even bigger test in 2022). And this is the most recent on the little one tax credit score extension. We have up to date this story. 

What ought to I do if I did not get any little one tax credit score funds?

The 2021 advance month-to-month little one tax credit score funds began robotically in July. Despite the fact that little one tax credit score funds are scheduled to reach on sure dates, chances are you’ll not have gotten the cash as anticipated for a number of causes. The IRS could not have an up-to-date mailing tackle or banking data for you. The mailed test could also be held up by the US Postal Service or if was a latest cost the direct deposit cost should be being processed. 

It is also essential to notice that in the event you’ve been a sufferer of tax-related identification theft, you will not obtain little one tax credit score funds till these points have been resolved with the IRS. If the problems aren’t cleared up this 12 months, you may get the total quantity whenever you file taxes in 2022. And needless to say even in case you have unpaid state or federal debt, it is best to nonetheless obtain little one tax credit score funds in the event you’re eligible. 

In September, roughly 700,000 households didn’t obtain a cost on account of an IRS technical error. Issues with lacking funds had been additionally reported in earlier months amongst “mixed-status” households, the place one guardian is a US citizen and the opposite is an immigrant, although that difficulty ought to have been corrected for later funds. 

One other doable cause your test could also be delayed is that if your 2020 return is nonetheless being processed; the IRS remains to be working by way of a backlog of returns. In case your data has modified otherwise you had a child lately, the IRS could not know that it owes you the credit score, particularly if the tax company is basing the credit score in your 2019 tax return whereas the most recent one is processing. 

How do I get an replace on my little one tax credit score test? 

You may count on recurring month-to-month funds to hit your checking account on the fifteenth by way of December. In accordance with the IRS, you should utilize the Little one Tax Credit score Replace Portal to see your processed month-to-month cost historical past. It will be a great way to observe for pending funds that have not gone by way of your checking account but. 

In case you nonetheless have not obtained the cash you are owed, see if the Processed Funds part of the replace portal has any data. If the cost was delivered, ensure that your tackle and banking data are right — particularly in the event you’ve moved or modified banks.

To test in your funds on-line, you may have to register together with your IRS username and account data. First-time customers might want to have a photograph ID (it is one of many methods the IRS is making an attempt to guard your data from identification theft). 

In case you’re checking your checking account, search for the deposit labeled CHILDCTC. In case your financial institution has not obtained the deposit from the IRS, it will not have any processing data for you in the event you’re making an attempt to find your test. In case you assume there’s an error, begin through the use of the replace portal to double-check the financial institution particulars the IRS has on file, together with your account data and routing numbers. 

Little one tax credit score cost schedule

Month-to-month  Most cost per little one 5 and youthful  Most cost per little one age 6 to 17
July 15 $300 $250
Aug. 13 $300 $250
Sept. 15 $300 $250
Oct. 15 $300 $250
Nov. 15 $300 $250
Dec. 15 $300 $250
April 2022: Second half of cost  $1,800 $1,500

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When should I file a payment trace for my missing money?

The IRS also offers a payment trace as a way to find your funds, including from missing stimulus checks. You can request a trace — which means filing an inquiry into the location of your IRS money — by mailing or faxing Form 3911 (PDF) to the tax agency. Even if the IRS says you’re ineligible for advance payments, it’s best to submit a payment trace in case there’s a portal error. 

Your payment will be traceable if it has been at least five days since the deposit date and the bank hasn’t received the money, four weeks since the check was mailed or six weeks if it was mailed to a forwarded address listed by USPS. If the check was mailed to a foreign address, you can ask for a payment trace after nine weeks.

When to request a payment trace

Method of payment Time passed since IRS sent your payment
Direct deposit 5 days
Check mailed to standard address 4 weeks
Check mailed to a forwarded address 6 weeks
Check mailed to a foreign address 9 weeks

At first glance, the steps to request a payment trace can look daunting. You’ll need to print and mail the completed Form 3911 from the IRS (PDF) to start tracing your child tax credit payment. If you need help completing the form, contact your local tax consultant. Before you do, there are a few pointers to keep in mind. 

  • An IRS representative told CNET that there isn’t an abbreviation or code to include in the “Inquiry” field. You’ll need to be as specific as possible about what payment you’d like to track. Make sure to specify that you’re looking to trace a child tax credit check and the month the payment was disbursed. 
  • If you filed taxes jointly, both parents will need to sign the form to start the payment trace process. 
  • Be sure to check whether or not your money was sent via direct deposit or check. If your banking information is listed on the Child Tax Credit Update Portal, we recommend choosing the direct deposit box. 
  • You’ll need to mail the form where you would usually send a paper tax return in your area. The IRS has a list of addresses and fax numbers to help. 
  • You should not request a payment trace to determine your eligibility or to confirm your child tax credit amount. 
  • It could take up to 60 days to receive a response.

What if I don’t get the check I expected?

Your child tax credit checks may have been less or more than you expected. If you meet all of the child tax credit requirements and find that you’re receiving less or more money than expected, there are a few steps you can take. Start by checking your eligibility based on your most recent tax return using the IRS Eligibility Assistant

According to a Sept. 24 IRS statement: “There are multiple reasons why people may be seeing a different amount than they expected. If only one spouse changed an address or bank account, the other spouse’s half could be going to the old address or bank account. In these instances, the full payment will still be distributed. Monthly payment amounts can also change depending on recently processed tax returns.”

The IRS could have used your 2019 tax return to determine your eligibility for this year’s credit. Once the IRS processes your 2020 tax return, it will automatically adjust your advance monthly payments. If you didn’t file your taxes, use the Child Tax Credit Non-filer Sign-up Tool to add your information and determine eligibility. 

If you didn’t get one of your checks, you may still get it with the next scheduled payment date after the IRS makes an adjustment. Parents with missing payments this year should expect their remaining checks to be larger, as they will be spread out over fewer payments.

One reason a parent may get less money is if they fall out of the income bracket for the maximum amount for monthly payments. Married couples filing jointly earning up to $150,000 and single filers earning up to $75,000 can qualify for the full amount. If you make more, the monthly check is reduced by $50 for every $1,000 over the income bracket. So, if you earn $80,000 as a single filer, you may only be eligible for up to $200 per month — depending on other eligibility factors. 


Some parents haven’t received July, August or September child tax credit checks yet. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

How can I contact the IRS about my child tax credit questions? 

You may have questions about your child tax credit eligibility, a missing check or changes to your information. Your first thought may be to contact the IRS, but there’s limited live assistance due to the tax return backlog, delayed stimulus checks and unemployment tax refunds. The IRS has not announced a separate phone number for child tax credit questions, but the main number for tax-related questions is 800-829-1040. 

Instead of calling, it may be faster to check the IRS website for answers to your questions. And remember that the Update Portal can help with eligibility, payment history and updating your personal information online. 

Is it possible to stop the two remaining 2021 payments?

The child tax credit requirements are different from previous years. If you ultimately receive more money than you’re eligible for, you might have to pay the IRS back. That’s why it’s important to use the Child Tax Credit Update Portal to inform the IRS of changes to your household circumstances so adjustments can be made. 

You may choose to opt out of advance monthly child tax credit payments to get one lump sum during tax time in 2022. It also may be the safest option to avoid repaying the IRS if you’re ineligible for the monthly payments, especially if your income changes this year. You can use the Child Tax Credit Update Portal to opt out of the program anytime. You’ll only need to unenroll once, and you should be able to reenroll later this month if you need to. 

If you or your spouse unenrolled from the child tax credit program but still got the money, it’s possible you didn’t opt out in time. You need to do so at least three days before the first Thursday of the month because it takes up to seven calendar days to process the request. The next unenrollment deadline is Nov. 1. Note that if you file taxes jointly, both parents need to unenroll. Otherwise, the spouse who doesn’t opt out will receive half of the joint payment. 

Here are the deadlines for unenrolling:

Remaining child tax credit opt-out deadlines

Payment date Unenrollment deadline 
Nov. 15 Nov. 1
Dec. 15 Nov. 29

The IRS will send a notice (Letter 6419) closer to tax time in 2022 with the adjusted credit amount based on the advance payments already disbursed to you. Hold on to this letter because you’ll need it when you file your 2021 income tax return if you need to return part of your payment. If you received the three child tax credit payments but are ineligible, it’s best to opt out of the last two checks by Nov. 1.

How can I update my mailing address or direct deposit information before the next check arrives? 

The deadline to update banking and mailing information ahead of the November check is Nov. 1. The IRS recommends using direct deposit to get future payments more quickly. Eligible parents who have banking information on file from stimulus checks or tax refunds with the IRS should have received money via direct deposit. If the IRS doesn’t have your account information, you can submit it using the Child Tax Credit Update Portal for November’s payment. Any changes after this date won’t take place until the December advance check. 

If you don’t add your banking information in time, look out for a check mailed to the address that the IRS has on file for you — just like a mailed tax refund. And the good news is that you can now use the Update Portal to update your mailing address. The IRS plans to continue expanding the functionality of that portal so you’ll be able to update your income and number of kids in the near future. 

If you’re waiting on your payment and the portal says it’s “Pending,” keep holding on. A check should be coming your way soon via direct deposit or mail. After a week, you can try to contact the IRS, or eventually do a payment trace.

We’ll continue to update this story with new information about tool updates, the child tax credit program and tracking your payments. Take a look at how joint child custody affects the child tax credit as well.

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