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Child Tax Credit October 2021 payment: what to do if I haven't received it?

The fourth monthly child tax credit payment began hitting bank accounts on 15 October. Below we outline several reasons why you may not have received yours and what actions you can take.

Child Tax Credit October 2021 payment: what to do if I haven't received it?

The IRS began sending out the fourth of six monthly child tax credit payments on Friday 15 October. With families set to receive $300 for each child under 6 and $250 for each child between 6 and 17, the October payments will reach approximately 36 million taxpayers for a total of $15 billion.

Most parents who receive payment by direct deposit should have received the money in their accounts on Friday. But those who generally receive paper checks will have to wait a bit longer for the checks to arrive by mail. If you are among that group, there is probably no point taking any action now other than keeping an eye on the mailbox for the next week or so. But bear in mind that it could take until the end of the month.

However, if you typically get the payment in your bank account and have yet to receive it, you may be wondering where it is.

Why haven’t I received my Child Tax Credit payment

There are several reasons why you may have not received a your October child tax credit payment:

Payment Delays

Getting $15bn in CTC payments sent out to 36 million recipients is a huge undertaking and delays must be expected. Due to technical glitches and other administrative issues, one million payments were delayed in September, while in August the number of delayed payments stood at four million. It’s reasonable that similar issues will occur with the October payment. If you want to find out what’s happening with your payment, a good place to start is using the IRS’s payment tracking tool.

See also:

Tracking your October Child Tax Credit payment

Whether you are waiting on a paper check or wired payment, you can track it using the IRS Child Tax portal.

Eligibility / Tax Filing issues

If you have never received any of the CTC payments it may be because you are either not eligible or you have not filed your taxes for 2019 or 2020.

You can check your eligibility for the Child Tax Credit with this tool from the IRS.

Who is eligible?

The new credit is available to taxpayers with a modified adjusted gross income (AGI) 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.

Have you filed your taxes?

If you didn't file taxes in 2020 or 2019 then you will need to use this link to the IRS portal. You can fill in the necessary details there to make sure your payments begin.

Non-filer tool

For those don't generally file taxes, you can use the IRS CTC non-filer tool.

Bank account details and address issues

Have you recently updated your bank account or address details on the IRS Update Portal? In September, several taxpayers who had recently updated their bank account or address details through the portal faced delays. While the IRS said it was working to solve that issue, it could happen again this October.

Another issue might be that the IRS has the incorrect or old address or bank account details for you. Again, you can check the portal to see what details the IRS has on file for you.

Filing a trace for October Child Tax Credit payment

If your payment is missing due to a delay, because you misplaced it or if you provided the IRS with an incorrect bank account or delivery address, you can file a trace with the IRS.

You can initiate a payment trace either by phone at (800) 829-1954 or (800) 919-9835 for stimulus payments, or by completing Form 3911, Taxpayer Statement Regarding Refund.

A payment trace for wired payments can be initiated five days after the expected 15 October delivery date. For mailed checks, you can file a trace four weeks after the expected arrival date.

IRS FAQs section

The IRS also has a FAQ page on its website for any pressing questions you might have.


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