Why did not I get my baby tax credit score fee? This is the right way to observe your verify

Why didn't I get a child tax credit payment? Here's how to track your check

October’s baby tax credit score funds went out to tens of millions of households on Friday. However some checks could possibly be late. 


Sarah Tew/CNET

The IRS despatched the fourth baby tax credit score fee out to tens of millions of fogeys on Oct. 15. When you did not obtain your fee by way of direct deposit, it could possibly be coming by paper verify within the mail by the tip of October. Nonetheless, if you have not acquired a toddler tax credit score fee or if you happen to’re lacking cash from one of many different months, we’ll assist you determine what is going on on.

Final month, the IRS ran right into a technical situation that brought about round 2% of eligible households to overlook September’s fee. It largely affected dad and mom who had lately up to date their checking account or handle particulars by the IRS Replace Portal. The IRS stated these funds have gone out however some households might have acquired an overpayment. If that is you, your October, November and December checks can be barely adjusted. 

The glitch is one in all a number of baby tax credit score issues that folks are going through. We additionally discovered that if just one father or mother in a married family made a correction to banking data or a mailing handle, it might have diminished the quantity of the fee. Additionally, dad and mom might need acquired extra money than they qualify for because of outdated tax data from previous returns, which might additionally have an effect on their taxes in 2022

We’re right here that can assist you work out the right way to observe your cash on-line utilizing the IRS Replace Portal and file a fee hint if a couple of weeks have handed and there is not any signal of your cash. This is what you’ll want to know if you happen to plan to choose out of the remaining month-to-month checks earlier than the following deadline, Nov. 1 (which implies you will get an even bigger verify in 2022). And here is the most recent on the baby tax credit score extension. We have up to date this story. 

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

The 2021 advance month-to-month baby tax credit score funds began mechanically in July. Regardless that baby tax credit score funds are scheduled to reach on sure dates, it’s possible you’ll not have gotten the cash as anticipated for a couple of causes. The IRS might not have an up-to-date mailing handle or banking data for you. The mailed verify could also be held up by the US Postal Service or if it was a latest fee, the direct deposit fee should be being processed. 

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

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

One other potential cause your verify could also be delayed is that if your 2020 return is nonetheless being processed; the IRS remains to be working by a backlog of returns. In case your data has modified otherwise you had a child lately, the IRS might 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 baby tax credit score verify? 

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

When you nonetheless have not acquired the cash you are owed, see if the Processed Funds part of the replace portal has any data. If the fee was delivered, be sure your handle and banking data are right — particularly if you happen to’ve moved or modified banks.

To verify in your funds on-line, you will have to register along with your IRS username and ID.me account data. First-time customers might want to have a photograph ID (it is one of many methods the IRS is attempting to guard your data from identification theft). 

When you’re checking your checking account, search for the deposit labeled CHILDCTC. In case your financial institution has not acquired the deposit from the IRS, it will not have any processing data for you if you happen to’re attempting to find your verify. When you suppose there’s an error, begin by utilizing 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 fee schedule

Month-to-month  Most fee per baby 5 and youthful  Most fee per baby 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 fee  $1,800 $1,500


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Child tax credit: Everything we know



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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 amount 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 or use the Child Tax Credit Non-filer Sign-up Tool by Oct. 15 to add your information and determine eligibility, the White House has now set up a new sign-up tool that will be available until Nov. 15.

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. 

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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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