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On Your Side: Where’s my child tax credit payment?

Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 5:36 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 16, 2021 at 6:53 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The first child tax credit payments hit bank accounts on Thursday. If you were expecting one, but did not receive it, here’s what you can do about it.

Head to the IRS website. There’s a Child Tax Credit Update Portal. Login there and see what’s going on. Maybe you need to update your address or bank information.

Wait one week

Take a breather. It might arrive in your mailbox in a few days. Give it one week. If you still don’t have your money, you can file what’s called a Trace.

However, it might take about six weeks to get an answer from the IRS. That’s why you need to be your own advocate and check the portal. Make sure Uncle Sam has your correct information.

Keep track of your payments. The total amount is really important.

“The advance payments are based on an estimate based on prior years. And so you need to know how much you actually got. Because you’re going to have to claim that actual amount against the credit that you’re eligible for when you do your taxes,” said Tiffany Cossey, School of Accountancy, Drury University.

Remember, getting these advanced payments means in the spring, you won’t get that big refund. Plan ahead.

“Some people plan their budgets around getting a big refund at tax time with that advanced child tax credit. They just need to understand that if they’re getting it now, it truly is an advanced payment toward that credit, their final refund in the spring will be lower,” said Cossey.

You can still unenroll on the IRS website. There are deadlines. This might be a good option for you if you’re making significantly more money this year compared to last. You don’t want to end up owing or paying some of it back.

Later this summer, on the portal, tell Uncle Sam if you had a baby this year, got married or got a divorce. Those big life changes impact how much money you get.

Or you can decide to do none of this and hammer it out when you file in a few months.

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