Child Tax Credit

Child Tax Credit updates: Why are some payments lower in October?

Some recipients of the Child Tax Credits have reported lower than expected payments, which may be due to an IRS mistake with previous payments.

Child Tax Credit updates: Why are some payments lower in October?
Gary Cameron Reuters

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 reached around 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, but there have been reports that people have not been receiving as much as they are supposed to.

System glitches and other IRS-related issues have caused delayed or missing payments, and these issues are causing some families to receive different amounts than expected for their October Child Tax Credit payments.

According to the IRS, some households received too much money in September's check, and the IRS is now correcting the issue by issuing lower payments to those households this month. This was a combination of mistakes with sending to dual-parent households, as well as a technical glitch.

The IRS says the typical overpayment was $31.25 per child between the ages of 6 and 17 years old and $37.50 per child under 6 years old. As the money is being taken out of the last three checks, these households are likely to see a $10 to $13 decrease per child in the three remaining monthly payments.

When is the next payment?

Six payments of the Child Tax Credit were and are due this year. The other six months are due when people file their 2021 tax return at the start of next year, arriving as one lump sum.

Payment schedule for 2021

Payment month
Opt-out Deadline Date
Payment Date
July (sent)
28 June 2021
15 July 2021
August (sent)
2 August 2021
13 August 2021
September (sent)
30 August 2021
15 September 2021
October (sent)
4 October 2021
15 October 2021
1 November 2021
15 November 2021
December - Final Payment
29 November 2021
15 December 2021

Will the Child Tax Credit be extended?

The Biden administration wants to extend the expanded Child tax Credit until 2025, and it is currently being negotiated in Congress.

However, the latest reports from the Capitol suggest that senior Democrats would be willing to capitulate to moderates in their party and only extend the credits for one year.

Senator Joe Manchin has been determined to prevent his party spending what he believes to be far too much money. Hence, the Child Tax Credit could be on the chopping block. The West Virginia senator has also blocked attempts to enforce emissions reducing plans.