Still waiting on your child tax credit cost? Track your check online now

You can submit a cost hint with the IRS to trace your child tax credit cost. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

No signal of your child tax credit check but? Many mother and father are understandably annoyed with waiting for the July 15 cost and searching for solutions. We can assist. There are a couple of attainable reasons for the holdup — perhaps you moved or the IRS does not have the fitting banking info. Regardless of the rationale, should you’re nonetheless waiting it is in all probability a great time to do a cost hint to determine the place your cash is. The further money could make an enormous distinction for many eligible households. Payments may be as much as $300 each month for every eligible child, relying on age and family revenue {qualifications}, as much as $3,600 whole. 

Start by ensuring your banking info and deal with are updated on the IRS online Update Portal — particularly if something has modified. You may also use the portal to make modifications and see when your cost was despatched — whether or not it was despatched by mail or direct deposit. But if you want to make modifications to your revenue, deal with or variety of dependents, you may want to attend till later this 12 months when the portal provides this performance. We’ll replace you when these updates can be found. 

What should you nonetheless haven’t got your check? What do you have to do subsequent? What should you acquired the primary check, however must opt out of the advance monthly checks? So much has modified with the child tax credit, however I’ll assist reply your questions, share attainable causes for delays and what you are able to do now. 

Why are there child tax credit check delays?

Even although child tax credit funds are scheduled to reach on sure dates, it’s possible you’ll not get the cash when anticipated for a couple of causes. The IRS could not have an up-to-date mailing deal with or banking info to ship your check. The mailed check could also be held up by the USPS, or the direct deposit cost should be being processed. 

It’s additionally necessary to notice that should you’re a sufferer of tax-related identification theft, you will not obtain child tax credit funds till the problems have been resolved with the IRS. If the problems aren’t cleared up this 12 months whereas early funds are disbursed, you may get the total quantity whenever you file taxes in 2022. And remember the fact that even when you’ve got unpaid state or federal debt, you need to nonetheless obtain child tax credit funds should you’re eligible. 

Another attainable purpose your check could also be delayed is that your 2020 return is nonetheless processing. The IRS is presently working by a backlog of returns. If your info has modified otherwise you had a child not too long ago, the IRS could not know that they owe you the credit, particularly if the tax company is basing the credit on your 2019 tax return whereas the newest one is processing. 

How can I monitor my child tax credit cost online?

You can typically anticipate recurring month-to-month funds to hit your checking account on the fifteenth of each month aside from August, when it is scheduled on the thirteenth. (See the chart under for extra.) According to the IRS, you need to use the Child Tax Credit Update Portal to see your processed month-to-month cost historical past. It’ll be a great way to observe for pending funds that have not gone by your checking account but. 

If you continue to have not acquired the cash you are owed, see if the Processed Payments part of the Update Portal has any info. If the cost was delivered, be certain that your deal with and banking info are appropriate — particularly should you’ve moved or modified banks.   

To check on your funds online, you may must register with your IRS username and account information. 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 info from identification theft). We do not know but if the portal will show different cost particulars, reminiscent of banking info, quantity, the check’s processing date or what might be inflicting a delay within the cost. 

If you are checking your checking account, search for the deposit labeled “CHILDCTC.” If your financial institution has not acquired the deposit from the IRS, it will not have any processing info for you should you’re making an attempt to find your check. If you suppose there’s an error, begin by utilizing the Update Portal to double-check the financial institution particulars the IRS has on file, together with your account info and routing numbers. 

Child tax credit cost schedule

Monthly  Maximum cost per child 5 and youthful  Maximum cost per child 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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Child tax credit: Everything we know


How do I submit a payment trace for my child tax credit payment? 

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 early 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; or four weeks since the check was mailed; or six weeks if it’s mailed to a forwarded address listed by the post office. 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

Is it too late to update my banking information for future checks? 

Eligible parents that have banking information on file from stimulus checks or tax refunds with the IRS should have received money via direct deposit for the July payment. If the IRS doesn’t have your account information, you can submit it using the Child Tax Credit Update Portal for the August payment, which you have to do before the Aug. 2 opt-out deadline. The IRS recommends using direct deposit to get future payments quicker. 

If you didn’t add your banking information in time for July’s payment, look out for a mailed check to the address that the IRS has on file for you — just like a mailed tax refund. If you need to update your mailing address for your check, you won’t be able to do that through the Update Portal quite yet. The IRS plans to continue expanding the functionality of that portal so you’ll be able to update your address, income and number of kids. 

A commenter in a recent Reddit thread says they were told the IRS is having a few issues with the child tax credit checks, but is working to resolve them. 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, but there’s more you need to know (see below) before you call. You can also do a payment trace. 


As of right now, the IRS doesn’t have a direct phone number for child tax credit questions. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Does the IRS have any updates on child tax credit payments?

If you haven’t received your child tax credit after a few days, you can try to contact the IRS. (We recommend waiting a few days past the payment date to see if your check will arrive in the mail.) The IRS has limited live assistance due to a tax return backlog, and is also still sending out stimulus checks and unemployment tax refunds. You can find answers to frequently asked questions, check eligibility and see if you have a processed payment on the IRS website. Right now, the IRS doesn’t have a separate phone number for child tax credit questions. 

What if I got less child tax money than I expected? 

If you meet all of the child tax credit requirements but track your monthly payments online 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

Note that the IRS said that it may use your 2019 tax return to determine your eligibility. Once the IRS processes your 2020 tax return, it will automatically adjust your advance monthly payments by increasing or decreasing how much you get. 

If you didn’t file your taxes, use the Child Tax Credit Non-filer Sign-up Tool to add your information and determine eligibility. It’s unclear if the IRS will make up any differences in remaining payments or if the difference will be included in next year’s tax refund. 

One reason parents 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. 

Should I opt out of advance child tax credit checks? 

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

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 deadline to opt out of future checks is days away, Aug. 2. Note that if you file jointly, each parent needs to unenroll. Otherwise, the spouse who doesn’t opt out will receive half of the joint payment. 

The IRS will send a notice (Letter 6419) closer to tax time next year 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 first child tax credit but are ineligible, it’s best to opt out before next week’s deadline, Aug. 2. 

How can I unenroll from advance child tax credit checks?

You may choose to opt out of advance monthly child tax credit payments to get one lump sum during tax time next year. 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’ll be able to re-enroll in late September if you need to. Here are the deadlines for unenrolling.

Child tax credit opt-out deadline

Payment date Unenrollment deadline 
July 15 June 28 
Aug. 13 Aug. 2
Sept. 15 Aug. 30 
Oct. 15 Oct. 4 
Nov. 15 Nov. 1
Dec. 15 Nov. 29

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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