Child tax credit payment problems already? Today’s burning questions

The first child tax credit payment went out Thursday to nearly 35 million eligible families via direct deposit. For people expecting a paper check, those should arrive in the mail soon. However, this first round of payments hasn’t gone out without hitting a few bumps, and some parents report experiencing payment problems. They’re asking questions — and we have answers.

The first check arrived July 15, with the second scheduled to go out Aug. 13 (make sure you got the right payment amount). That means you still have time to fix any errors that could be holding up your payment — or prevent money from coming to you that you might have to repay the IRS.

We’ll help answer some of your biggest questions about the child tax credit payments. In the meantime, use the IRS portals to check on the status of your payments. Also, here’s how to create an account to have access to the portals if you haven’t already done that. We’ll update this story regularly.

 The portal says I’m not eligible, but I received a payment. What now?

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. For instance, some people who weren’t qualified for the stimulus checks still received a payment.

If you’re absolutely positive you’re not eligible for the enhanced child tax credit payments, but you got a payment anyways, you’ll need to return that money to the IRS. Start by using the IRS Update Portal to unenroll from any future payments — the deadline to opt out of the next payment is Aug. 2. This will help prevent you from having to pay back more money when you file your taxes in 2022.

On the other hand, some members of a Reddit forum are reporting that despite the child tax credit portal showing they aren’t eligible, they do meet the requirements and did receive their first payment. We’ve contacted the IRS for more details on this situation.

I’m eligible for the child tax credit. Why didn’t I get a payment?

If you qualify for the enhanced credit but haven’t received your payment, it could be for a number of reasons. Did you file a tax return in 2019 or 2020? If not, the IRS may not have the most updated information — especially if you had a child during that time. You can use the IRS nonfiler portal to register for future payments.

If you did file your taxes, check the Update Portal to see if your payment is coming by mail. If so, give it several days as it could take a bit longer to arrive. If you have direct deposit set up, make sure all the information is accurate. Note that if you didn’t set up your banking details before June 28, you should expect to get a paper check for the July payment.

If everything looks correct but you still didn’t get a payment, you may need to file a payment trace with the IRS. To do that, you’ll need to complete Form 3911 and mail it to the IRS. Only do this if it’s been five days since the scheduled deposit date or four weeks since the payment was mailed by check…Read more>>


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