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

Having points together with your youngster tax credit payment? We might help.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The first child tax credit payment went out Thursday to almost 35 million eligible families through direct deposit. For individuals anticipating a paper verify, these ought to arrive within the mail quickly. However, this primary spherical of funds hasn’t gone out with out hitting a number of bumps, and a few mother and father report experiencing payment problems. They’re asking questions — and now we have solutions.

The first verify arrived July 15, with the second scheduled to exit Aug. 13 (be sure you got the right payment amount). That means you continue to have time to repair any errors that could possibly be holding up your payment — or stop cash from coming to you that you just might have to repay the IRS.

We’ll assist reply a few of your largest questions concerning the youngster tax credit funds. In the meantime, use the IRS portals to verify on the status of your payments. Also, here is tips on how to create an account to have entry to the portals if you have not already performed that. We’ll replace this story commonly.

The portal says I’m not eligible, however I acquired a payment. What now?

With the IRS sending out tens of millions of kid tax credit funds, together with maintaining with income tax refunds and unemployment tax refunds, it is actually attainable the company may have made a mistake. For occasion, some individuals who weren’t certified for the stimulus checks nonetheless acquired a payment.

If you are completely optimistic you are not eligible for the improved youngster tax credit funds, however you bought a payment in any case, you will must return that cash to the IRS. Start through the use of the IRS Update Portal to unenroll from any future payments — the deadline to choose out of the following payment is Aug. 2. This will assist stop you from having to pay again more cash while you file your taxes in 2022.

On the opposite hand, some members of a Reddit forum are reporting that regardless of the child tax credit portal exhibiting they are not eligible, they do meet the necessities and did obtain their first payment. We’ve contacted the IRS for extra particulars on this case.

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Child tax credit: Everything we know


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.

How will I know if a direct deposit I received is for the child tax credit?

Aside from the IRS portal showing your payment was issued, you can check your bank account for the deposit. It’ll show up with a description of “ChildCTC” and an amount for up to $300 per kid. Don’t get this deposit confused with those for stimulus checks, which show up as “TAXEIP3” when deposited. Also, if you’re waiting on a tax refund, it’ll show up as “TAX REF.”


The first payment was sent on July 15.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Will I ever have to pay the child tax credit money back?

It depends. If you’re eligible for the full amount of child tax credit money, you won’t have to pay it back. However, if you don’t qualify for the full amount because of a change in your income or number of dependents but receive the full amount anyway, you may need to pay that extra money back. 

The IRS is using what it calls “payment protection” so if you do receive an overpayment but fall below a set income level, you don’t have to pay back an overpayment. Above that income level, you will have to pay back some or all of the extra money. Here’s more on the income levels and how the payment protection works.

Will these bigger than usual child tax credit payments continue past next year?

As of right now, the enhanced payments are for this tax year. That means after you get your final payment with your tax refund in 2022, the child tax credit will revert back to its original amount. However, it’s possible President Joe Biden and Congress could come to an agreement to extend the payments in 2025 — or make the changes permanent. This week, Biden said he is urging Congress to do that: “I say to my colleagues in Congress: This tax cut for working families is something we should extend, not end, next year.”

While no decision has been made yet, we’ll keep you updated on the outcome.

For more information, here’s how to opt out of future child tax credit payments. Also, here’s 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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