Track your Aug. 13 child tax credit on-line. Here’s how

You can file a fee hint with the IRS utilizing Form 3911. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

The subsequent child tax credit fee might be disbursed subsequent Friday, Aug. 13. But many US households had been eligible for July’s fee, however some are nonetheless ready for the additional money. The advance child tax credit funds may be as much as $300 each month for every eligible child, relying on the child’s age and family earnings. There are a couple of reasons for the holdup (extra under) and steps you possibly can take now to search out your lacking examine. 

If you are still ready, it is a good suggestion to examine the online Update Portal for clues about your fee. If you’ve got lately moved or switched banks, you will must replace your data on the IRS instrument and see if you want to do a fee hint. Another attainable purpose is that the small print on your older tax returns that the IRS is utilizing would’ve disqualified you in earlier years. You may also use the portal to replace your banking data and different particulars that will help you get your cash sooner. 

What ought to eligible mother and father do now? If your fee remains to be pending, might that the IRS remains to be confirming your eligibility? What if your final tax return would not mirror your present cirmcustances — is {that a} purpose to unenroll? We’ll reply these questions and tackle attainable causes for delays. We’ll additionally present you how to opt out of the advance monthly checks in the event you’re fearful about repaying the IRS. We’ve lately up to date this story. 

Why are some child tax credit checks delayed?

The first child tax credit examine was despatched on July 15, however some mother and father are nonetheless ready. 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 might not have an up-to-date mailing tackle or banking data to ship your examine. The mailed examine could also be held up by the US Postal Service or the direct deposit fee should be being processed. 

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

Another attainable purpose your examine could also be delayed is that your 2020 return is nonetheless processing. The IRS is at present working by a backlog of returns. If your data has modified otherwise you had a child lately, the IRS might 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 contact the IRS a couple of misplaced child tax credit examine?

If you have not acquired your child tax credit after a couple of days, you possibly can attempt to contact the IRS. (We advocate ready a couple of days previous the fee date to see if your examine will arrive within the mail.) The IRS has restricted stay help as a consequence of a tax return backlog, and can be nonetheless sending out stimulus checks and unemployment tax refunds. You can discover solutions to incessantly requested questions, examine eligibility and see when you’ve got a processed fee on the IRS website. Right now, the IRS would not have a separate cellphone quantity for child tax credit questions.

My child tax credit examine is lacking. What ought to I do?

You can typically count on 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 fee 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 data. If the fee was delivered, be certain that your tackle and banking data are appropriate — particularly in the event you’ve moved or modified banks.

To examine on your funds on-line, you will 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 data from id theft). We do not know but if the portal will show different fee particulars, comparable to banking data, quantity, the examine’s processing date or what may very well be inflicting a delay within the fee. 

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 data for you in the event you’re making an attempt to find your examine. If you assume there’s an error, begin through the use of the Update Portal to double-check the financial institution particulars the IRS has on file, together with your account data and routing numbers. 

Child tax credit fee schedule

Monthly  Maximum fee per child 5 and youthful  Maximum fee 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 fee  $1,800 $1,500

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When can I start tracing my child tax credit 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

How can I trace my missing check with the IRS? 

At a 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, reach out to your local tax consultant. Before you do, there are a few pointers to keep in mind. 

  • An IRS representative told CNET that there’s not 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 you 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. 

How do I update my banking information for future payments? 

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. The deadline to update your banking information for the Aug. 13 check has passed. If the IRS doesn’t have your account information, you can submit it using the Child Tax Credit Update Portal for the September payment, which you have to do by Monday, Aug. 30. 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, or eventually do a payment trace. 


The deadline to opt out of the August child tax credit payment has passed. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

What if I got less child tax credit money than 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 payments?

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. 

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. 

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 the August payment has passed. The next deadline is Aug. 30. 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. 

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

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 for September’s payment by Aug. 30. 

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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