Why Didn’t I Get My Child Tax Credit? How to Check on the IRS Website

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Aug. 13 2021, Published 12:21 p.m. ET

The official date for disbursement of the second monthly child tax credit payment is Aug. 13. Since the Biden administration approved an Enhanced Child Tax Credit for higher maximum amounts and the first half of the tax credit to be paid out monthly, in advance, many American families have already started to receive their 2021 tax credits.

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However, some eligible U.S. families are still waiting for their first child tax credit payment, which was due to arrive on July 15. There are a few possible causes for the delay in your payment if you didn’t get the child tax credit yet. The main reasons are that you haven’t filed 2019 or 2020 taxes or that your check is still in the mail.

Child tax credits are based on tax returns

One reason some people might not have received a timely child tax credit payment is that they haven't filed taxes for 2019 or 2020. They might have filed taxes, but not recently enough to reflect changes in family size like the birth or adoption of an additional child.

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child tax credit and tax returns
Source: istock

If you haven't filed taxes or need to file your information with the IRS in order to receive child tax credits, you can use the IRS non-filer portal to provide that information. Create an ID.me account with the IRS using your Social Security number, photo identification, and a phone or computer with a working camera.

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Your payment might be delayed in the mail.

Many people are due to receive their child tax credit payments in the mail, in which case the August payment will likely need several days before it arrives. You can simply wait a few days or check the IRS Update Portal to verify that your payment will arrive by check.

You might have been expecting a direct deposit payment, but some people have reported that their July payment didn't arrive in that form. To be on the safe side, check the IRS website to be sure that it has your updated bank deposit information for future payments.

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If you prefer not to get payments monthly and instead receive one large child tax credit when you file next spring, you can opt-out of advance child tax credits on the website.

How to file an IRS payment trace

You might discover that you qualify for the child tax credit, but you can’t find any reason why your payment hasn’t arrived.

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child tax credit irs website
Source: Getty

If it has been at least five days since the scheduled payment date or at least four weeks if your check was mailed, you should file a Form 3911 with the IRS. Mail or fax the completed form to the IRS to trace your expected payment.

IRS Child Tax Credit Portals

Check the following portals via the IRS to verify information regarding the child tax credit.

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