Issues along with your baby tax credit score fee? Here is what to do

5 child tax credit payment problems we can help you solve

Incorrect funds is perhaps because of outdated IRS data. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Hundreds of thousands of eligible dad and mom have obtained 5 baby tax credit score funds now — paper checks are coming within the mail for some who did not get a direct deposit this month. However some eligible households are nonetheless ready on checks from prior months or have not obtained cash in any respect this 12 months. If that is you, it might be because of inaccurate or outdated data in your 2020 tax return. It additionally could also be that the IRS does not know you are eligible. Or it might be that USPS mail slowdowns are delaying printed checks coming by mail. 

It is not straightforward to get in contact with the IRS for assist. Nevertheless, there are just a few steps to take earlier than the subsequent test comes. First, double-check the IRS Replace Portal to ensure your data is appropriate and make any modifications earlier than the subsequent deadline: Nov. 29. 

If all the pieces is true, we’ll share different methods to get clues about the place your cash is. Plus, here is the most recent on the baby tax credit score extension and what number of baby tax credit score funds are left. We’ll additionally share the final unenrollment deadline so as to add to your calendar. This story was up to date not too long ago. 

Why you have not obtained your baby tax credit score fee but

Listed here are plenty of different potential the reason why your loved ones hasn’t obtained a fee for one of many prior months. 

  • For those who’re married submitting collectively and just one partner not too long ago up to date your checking account or handle within the IRS Replace Portal, you will have not obtained a September fee. This technical problem ought to have been corrected. 
  • Based mostly on an IRS assertion, 2% of households because 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 keeping with the IRS.
  • Your fee was despatched by mail and it is nonetheless held up by the US Postal Service. Because of a technical problem in August, thousands and thousands of households obtained 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 mum or dad is an immigrant and the kid has a Social Safety quantity). Due to an IRS mishap, these households might 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 simply qualify. If that is the case, use the nonfiler signup instrument on-line to register for funds by the prolonged Nov. 15 deadline
  • You lived within the US lower than half the 12 months in 2019 or 2020, and the IRS does not assume you qualify, even if you happen to now have a major 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 capable of replace these particulars within the IRS portal but (the choice so as to add dependents was alleged to 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 might 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 12 months’s advance month-to-month funds utilizing the IRS Replace Portal. If that is the case, your loved ones will obtain the credit score if you file your taxes in 2022. The choice to reenroll was alleged to be made out there this fall, however the IRS hasn’t allowed it but.

Causes you have not obtained a baby tax credit score fee

The issue What to do
You did not file a 2019 or 2020 tax return File your taxes within the spring
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 by the Replace Portal (not out there but)
Your financial institution information or mailing handle is unsuitable Change your particulars within the Replace Portal now
Your earnings has modified Change your particulars within the Replace Portal
You possibly can’t discover any motive why you did not get a fee It could be time to file a fee hint with the IRS

Why your baby tax credit score fee quantity was inaccurate

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

One potential motive for a decrease fee is that if just one partner modified an handle or checking account within the IRS Replace Portal. In that case, the opposite partner’s half may have gone to the outdated handle 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 not too long ago), and the company solely not too long ago adjusted fee eligibility quantities for the earlier month-to-month test. 

A further complication is that there is at the moment no technique to inform the IRS of the quantity (or ages) of youngsters between the 2020 and 2021 tax seasons. (Extra performance was alleged to be added to the Replace Portal to permit dad and mom so as to add or subtract qualifying kids this fall.) Proper now, you possibly can change your earnings within the portal by going to Handle Advance Funds and choosing “Report Life Modifications.”

Remember the fact 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 section out for greater earners. So, in case your earnings was considerably greater final 12 months otherwise you did not declare a dependent in your 2020 tax return, you would possibly get much less of the credit score than it is best to this 12 months primarily based on the prior figures that the IRS has on file.

If your loved ones did not get a fee till October, your whole advance credit score will likely be divided over three months as an alternative of six months, which is able to lead to bigger advance month-to-month funds, in keeping with the IRS. Be aware that you will have obtained an overpayment for September, leading to smaller quantities with the October, November and December checks.

Some dad and mom may see an incorrect (or greater) fee quantity within the Replace Portal because 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 test 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 obtained the right amount by mail. The IRS is at the moment working to repair this error. 

Here is how one can test your baby tax credit score fee standing 

The simplest technique to see what’s occurring along 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 all your 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 to reach. When you have direct deposit arrange, be certain 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 not legitimate, it is 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, test your checking account once more within the subsequent few days to ensure it is cleared. In keeping 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 because of a lacking fee). Do not get this sediment 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, you could have to file a fee hint with the IRS. To try 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 for the reason that scheduled deposit date, or 4 weeks for the reason that fee was mailed by test. We clarify how one can file a fee hint right here.

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What to know if you’re ineligible for child tax credit money, but still got a payment

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. 29. 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 were sent too much money and don’t want to owe the IRS next spring

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 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. 29. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Here’s what’s happening with the child tax credit extension 

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. 

Washington is in the midst of debating 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. Since then, President Biden has requested a one-year extension, and other lawmakers are pushing for at least one additional year. 

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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