Child Tax Credit: Some parents are getting checks by mail for August payment

Some parents who received the advance Child Tax Credit via direct deposit in July will be getting a check in the mail this month, the Internal Revenue Service said in a news release.

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While the majority of families will have received their payments by direct deposit, because of an issue with how the payments were to be sent out, some who received direct deposits in July will receive August payments by mail.

Families can visit the Child Tax Credit Update Portal to see if they’re receiving a direct deposit payment or a paper check this month.

For those affected, no additional action is needed for the September payment to be issued by direct deposit, the IRS said in the release.

The monthly payments, authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act, began in July and targeted families with children up to age 17. The payments are based on yearly income and are up to $300 per month for each child under age 6 and up to $250 per month for each child ages 6 through 17.

The first payment was sent out on July 15. Payments will continue on the 15th of each month through December. The six months of payments represents half the credit. The other half can be claimed on next year’s income tax return.

The second batch of advance monthly payments, worth about $15 billion, was sent out last Friday to around 36 million families.

The IRS said in the news release that those receiving paper checks should allow extra time for delivery by mail through the end of August.

Those getting payments sent by mail but wishing to receive future payments by direct deposit can make this change using the Child Tax Credit Update Portal, available only on IRS.gov.

To access the portal or to get a new step-by-step guide for using it, visit IRS.gov/childtaxcredit2021. A change made by 11:59 p.m. ET on Aug. 30 will apply starting with the September payment.

The IRS also noted:

  • Payments went to eligible families who filed a 2019 or 2020 income tax return. Returns processed by Aug. 2 are reflected in these payments. This includes 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 or in 2021 successfully used the Non-filer Sign-up Tool for advance CTC, also available only on IRS.gov.
  • Payments are automatic. Aside from filing a tax return, including a simplified return from the Non-filer Sign-up Tool, families don’t have to do anything if they are eligible to receive monthly payments. The Non-Filer Sign-Up tool is available until Oct. 15.
  • Families who did not get a July payment and are getting their first monthly payment in August will still receive their total advance payment for the year. This means that the total payment will be spread over five months, rather than six, making each monthly payment larger. For these families, each payment is up to $360 per month for each child under age 6 and up to $300 per month for each child ages 6 through 17.
  • Additionally, the IRS is correcting an issue regarding the advance CTC payments for families where the parents have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) and the qualifying children have a Social Security number. Such families who did not receive a July payment are receiving a monthly payment in August, which also includes a portion of the July payment. They will receive the remainder of the July payment in late August.