Child tax credits: September payments go out soon. What to do if you don’t get one

Louisiana News

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(KTLA) — Another round of advance child tax credit payments is just days away from going out to tens of millions of Americans.

The third batch of monthly checks is scheduled to go out on Sept. 15, according to the IRS. The payments will continue to be distributed on a monthly basis to eligible taxpayers through the remainder of the year, with the last half going out in one payment next year.

More than 30 million households qualify for payments of up to $300 per month for eligible children ages 5 and younger and $250 for each eligible child between 6 and 17 years old, according to the federal tax agency.

Including the last half of the tax credit, recipients could get a total of up to $3,600 per child 5 years old and younger, and $3,000 for every child between 6 to 17 years old.

To be eligible for the full amount, a taxpayer needs to have a modified adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less for singles, $112,500 or less for heads of households, or $150,000 or less for married couples filing jointly.

For those who qualify for the credit, the status of a payment can be checked here.

If an eligible person finds their credit was issued but they never received the payment, they should double-check that their address and bank account information listed with the IRS is correct. If it is, the IRS then recommends requesting a trace to track the missing payment.

The IRS says you can request a trace if the funds haven’t been received within the following time frames:

  • Five days since the direct deposit date, provided the bank hasn’t yet received the payment 
  • Four weeks since the payment was mailed to a standard address 
  • Six weeks since the payment was mailed if the post office has a forwarding address on file for the recipient
  • Nine weeks since the payment was mailed for those with an international address

It’s important to follow the time frame, the agency notes, because the IRS won’t be able to trace the payment unless it’s met.

The form to begin the process can be found at https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f3911.pdf, and it must be returned by mail or fax.

In some instances, taxpayers who think they qualify for the payments may check the Child Tax Credit Update Portal and find their eligibility listing as “pending.” That means the IRS is still reviewing the account’s eligibility and the taxpayer won’t get a check until the agency confirms that person qualifies.

Most households don’t have to do anything to get the advance funds provided they already filed their 2019 or 2020 tax return (and it’s been processed already) and claimed the child tax credit or they submitted their information through the IRS’s nonfilers tool.

For those who didn’t file tax returns for either year and didn’t register with the IRS for the federal stimulus checks in 2020, it’s not too late to sign up for the child tax credit payments. That can be done here.

Some parents may rather receive the rest of the credit in one lump sum. If that’s the case, they can opt out of the monthly payments through this online portal, with the next deadline to unenroll falling on Oct. 4.

Additionally, that portal can also be used to change their address, update their bank account information for direct deposit, and view their payment history, among other things.

The IRS has the latest information on the advance child tax credit here and answers the most frequently asked questions here.

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