September 23, 2021

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Child tax credits deposited Friday: Why yours possibly did not come – Detroit Free Press

6 min read

Time to check those bank accounts. More money was scheduled to be heading to families Friday for the August payment of the advance child tax credit.

Millions of households woke up Friday to see the money in their accounts — just like they did on July 15. 

But others hit social media Friday morning in shock and wondering: What happened? Where’s my money? Where’s that extra $250 or $300 for each child for August? 

For some, it could seem that the IRS’s Friday drop date is looking like the release date for Kanye West’s upcoming “Donda” album, which is facing more delays in August. You just never know when this one is hitting for some families. Maybe the money will get there before the album.

Troubled taxpayers on social media Friday couldn’t understand why they were looking at a longer wait than expected to receive their cash. 

“Got last month’s DD no problem,” one said. “This month’s says it will be mailed. Ugh.” 

After checking IRS.gov website to review their status, some taxpayers learned that their advance child tax credit would be mailed this time — even though they received the advance child tax credit via direct deposit last month. 

One said: “Nothing here yet. I use NetSpend,” which is a prepaid debit card. 

If you’re going to end up receiving the child tax credit by paper check, you might need to prepare for delays. The IRS noted Friday afternoon: “Be sure to allow extra time for delivery by mail through the end of August.”

The U.S. Treasury issued a statement Friday before noon that stated: “Due to a technical issue expected to be resolved by the September payments, a small percentage of recipients — less than 15% — who received payments by direct deposit in July will be mailed paper checks for the August payment.” 

Yet we could be talking about roughly 4 million or so people who fall into this category of expecting direct deposit in August but getting a check. 

The IRS said Friday that those affected do not need to take any action for the September payment to be issued by direct deposit.

Tax experts say this unexpected shift from direct deposit to paper checks for some is expected to be a one-time issue. 

If you’re in this situation, Treasury recommends visiting the Child Tax Credit Update Portal at IRS.gov to see if you’re receiving a direct deposit or paper check this month. 

You also can go to the IRS site for a special page of information on the Advance Child Tax Credit at IRS.gov/childtaxcredit2021

And another update: The IRS said that families who did not get a July payment and are getting their first monthly payment in August will receive a bigger check as the total payment will spread over five months, not six. 

For these families that didn’t get money in July but did in August, each payment is up to $360 per month for each child age 5 and younger and up to $300 per month for each child ages 6 through 17, according to the IRS.

What was that timeline? 

The six monthly rounds of advance payments are set to arrive around the 15th of the month this year. The first July advance payment hit July 15. The next payments are scheduled for Sept. 15, Oct. 15, Nov. 15 and Dec. 15.

The second child tax credit monthly advance payment for August was scheduled for Aug. 13. That’s because Aug.15 is a Sunday. The way direct deposit usually works, you’re getting a “pending” notice in your account before the money shows up. 

We are looking at a mixed message. For some, things will work out the same as last month. But others who got their money via direct deposit in July now could need to check their mailboxes for this second round of monthly payments for August — if they’re not seeing the money via direct deposit.

Nothing is really simple, is it.

More:Big money set to arrive in July for families: Here’s what to do to get it

More:Child tax credit money isn’t just like more stimulus cash: What to know

More:Big money set to arrive in July for families: Here’s what to do to get it

The Internal Revenue Service noted in July that about 86% of the payments for July were sent by direct deposit.

The first batch of advance monthly payments were worth roughly $15 billion and were sent to about 35 million families across the country. 

Who’s getting what? 

Nationwide, about 36 million advance payments will be issued for August, according to the U.S. Department of Treasury’s data. The payments cover nearly 61 million children across the country and totaled about $15.4 billion. The average monthly payment was $428. 

In Michigan, about 1.02 million households received the advance payments for August for the child tax credit. Those payments covered nearly 1.8 million children. The dollars add up to nearly $450 million in Michigan. The average payment was $439.

The Treasury said the number of payments for August increased, compared with July, and cover an additional 1.6 million children.

The August payout numbers reflect advance child tax credit payments disbursed to eligible recipients based on taxpayer information that the IRS is using, the Treasury noted, and do not account for reversed payments or those that end up being undeliverable.  

An effort is ongoing to get those who typically aren’t required to file a tax return, based on a low income, to sign up to receive the advance credit money. The Treasury announced Friday that a new, mobile-friendly, bilingual sign-up tool created by Code for America — a civic technology nonprofit — will be available in the coming weeks.

It is not too late for low-income families to sign up for advance child tax credit advance payments and you’d use tools at IRS.gov to do so. People can get these benefits, even if they don’t work and even if they receive no income.

Money pays down debt, buys food

The advance child tax credit is an influx of cash just in time for back-to-school purchases and other expenses.

Many families used the money they received in July to pay off debt, and buy groceries, clothing and to pay for child care, according to the latest U.S. Census household pulse survey. 

For some families, we’re talking about money that’s as big as a monthly car payment — or more. 

Millions of eligible families are receiving up to $300 per month from July through December for each qualifying child ages 5 and younger and $250 per month for children ages 6 to 17. 

In this July 28, 2021 photo, Christina Darling and her sons, Brennan, 4, left, and Kayden, 10, prepare a snack at home in Nashua, N.H. Darling and her family have qualified for the expanded child tax credit, part of President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package. Darling is a housing resource coordinator who had been supplementing her $35,000-a-year salary with monthly visits to the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter's food pantry. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) ORG XMIT: NHEA202

A family with three toddlers could be looking at a monthly payment of up to $900. 

The expanded credit is so new that some families didn’t even realize that the advance payments are coming every month from July through December this year only. 

The child tax credit was expanded as part of pandemic-related relief. The IRS will pay half the total credit amount — up to $3,600 for each child for those with young children — in advance monthly payments over the six months. The other half is to be claimed on the 2021 income tax return. 

If your child ages out of the credit in 2021, the IRS is expected to make some adjustments on its own. The IRS won’t include a child who turns 18 in 2021 in your advance monthly payments. And the IRS is expected to adjust the payment to $250 instead of $300 a month for a child who turns 6 this year. 

The monthly advance payments are a new program that was authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act, enacted in March. Right now, the monthly payouts are happening this year only, but President Joe Biden and other Democrats want to try to extend this relief into future years. 

Many families don’t need to do anything to get this money. The IRS is basing monthly payments on the most recently processed tax return, either the 2019 federal return or the 2020 return. 

The IRS said that the August payments reflect information on tax returns that had been processed by Aug. 2, including people who don’t typically file a return but during 2020 successfully registered for Economic Impact Payments using the IRS Non-Filers tool on IRS.gov. And this group also includes those who this year successfully used the Non-filer Sign-up Tool for advance child tax credit at IRS.gov.

The White House mailed a letter explaining the advance child tax credit to families who would receive it, but it's only in English and Spanish.

The new maximum credit is available to taxpayers with a modified adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less for singles; $112,500 or less for heads of household; and $150,000 or less for married couples filing a joint return and qualified widows and widowers.

ContactSusan Tompor via stompor@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter@tompor. To subscribe, please go to freep.com/specialoffer. Read more on business and sign up for our business newsletter.

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