Child Tax Credit Payment Late? Check Likely in the Mail

The IRS is sending paper checks to some who got direct deposits in July

Woman checking mail at mailbox

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If you’re a parent eligible for the child tax credit and your August payment from the IRS didn’t land in your bank account on Friday, it’s likely that you’re slated to get a slower paper check that’s on its way.

The IRS said Friday that some who received the first-ever monthly child tax credit payments by direct deposit in July would receive the August payment in the form of a paper check instead. Because of an unspecified “issue” the IRS said would be resolved in time for September’s round of payments, a percentage—less than 15%, the agency said—would receive checks by mail that could take until the end of the month to reach recipients, the IRS said. A spokesperson for the agency didn’t immediately respond to a request for more specifics.

The 2021 credit was radically overhauled as part of the American Rescue Plan relief bill earlier this year, not only to allow for monthly installments (much like child allowance benefits that exist in other countries) but to increase its maximum value and cover more low-income families. The six payments scheduled for the remainder of the year are an advance of half the total credit for 2021—up to $3,600 per child, depending on family income and the age of the child. Most of the more than 36 million August payments, worth up to $300 per child, went out via direct deposit on Friday.

While the payments are being made to qualifying taxpayers automatically, eligible people who don’t normally file taxes—for example, because their income is too low to be required to—can use a special online tool to sign up for the child credit. A more user-friendly mobile version is in the works too.

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