How to Check the IRS Child Tax Credit Payments

 

If you qualified for the IRS Child Tax Credit, then advance payments should have been sent your way each month from July through December of 2021.

If you think you missed out on some of that action, or if you want to reconcile records for tax time, today’s article will explain how you can check your IRS Child Tax Credit payments.

How can I check the IRS Child Tax Credit Payments I’ve received?

Lucky for us, the IRS has created a website called the Child Tax Credit Update Portal (CTC UP). You can use this portal to look up information about your monthly payment amounts and also to manage any advance payments you may receive in the future. Additionally, at some point in December of 2021 or January of 2022, you’ll receive a Letter 6419 from the IRS that will give you the total amount of Child Tax Credit payments that you received during 2021.

If you’d like to look up your payments now, you’ll first go to the CTC UP website where you’ll need to create an account through ID.me. You can get to ID.me while on the CTC UP website by clicking the blue button that says “View Advance Payments.” Creating an account can be done on your phone or computer, but it’s actually easier to do if you have both your phone and computer in front of you. Getting an account can take up to 20ish minutes. You’ll also need the following:

  • Your photo identification (driver’s license, state ID, or passport)
  • Your Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)

To start, this process looks much like the 10,000 other accounts you’ve created where you’ll provide your email address, create a password, and then confirm your email address using a code sent to your inbox. You’ll also be asked to set up multi-factor authentication to safeguard your account. To do this, you’ll provide your phone number and confirm your account again with a number sent to you via text message or phone call.

After those steps are completed, you’ll need to verify who you are by submitting photos of your identification and then submitting a selfie to prove you are who you say you are. Finally, you’ll need to submit your SSN or ITIN and give the ID.me website permission to share the information you’ve submitted with the IRS website.

Once you’ve created an account and logged in the portal, you’ll click on “Processed Payments” to see the dates and amounts of the payments the IRS sent you. To reconcile those amounts with your bank account, you can look for deposits on your bank statement that came from “CH CREDIT IRS TREAS 310 CHILDCTC” or “CHILDCTC.”

Why didn’t I receive Child Tax Credit advance payments?

You can check your eligibility for the Child Tax Credit using the IRS’ Eligibility Assistant. You’ll need your most recent tax return (2020 or 2019) with you to use the tool.

If you are eligible, there are a few different reasons why you may not have received advance Child Tax Credit payments in 2021:

  • The IRS may not have your correct banking account information and/or mailing address.
  • If you receive payment by check, the mailed check may be lost or stolen.
  • If you receive payment by direct deposit, the direct deposit may still be processing (when looking for a recent payment).
  • There may have been a technical error.
  • The IRS might not know you’ve had a new baby (congrats!).
  • You reported that you were a victim of tax-related identity theft.

Why didn’t I receive the full amount or the expected amount for my Child Tax Credit advance payments?

There are a couple of different reasons why you may not have received the amount you expected or the full amount for the advance Child Tax Credit payments in 2021:

  • If married, only one spouse may have changed address or bank account information with the IRS resulting in only one spouse receiving half the payment amount.
  • A new tax return may have been processed that changed your eligibility status. In other words, your 2019 tax return may have been used to determine your eligibility initially and then your 2020 tax return was processed and the IRS updated your eligibility information in their systems.

How can I get the rest of the Child Tax Credit payments that I think I’m owed?

You will claim any unpaid Child Tax Credit amount on your 2021 taxes when you file in 2022. This will be reconciled on Schedule 8812 of your Form 1040.

What if my advance Child Tax Credit payments were too much?

If the total amount you were paid in advance Child Tax Credit payments is more than the total amount you can claim on your 2021 taxes, you may need to repay the IRS some of that. However, if you qualify for repayment protection, you will not have to pay back some of the amount. If you do not qualify for repayment protection, you will report the entire excess amount as additional income on your 2021 tax return.

You qualify for repayment protection if you meet these requirements:

  • Your main home was in the United States for more than half of 2021.
  • Your modified adjusted gross income (AGI) for 2021 is at or below these amounts:
    • $60,000 if married and filing jointly or filing as a qualified widow(er)
    • $50,000 if filing as head of household
    • $40,000 if filing single or married filing separately

Will I receive advance Child Tax Credit payments in 2022?

Congress is still deciding on that one. There will still be a Child Tax Credit, but we just don’t know yet about the advance payments.

Action Items:

  • Prior to filing your 2021 taxes, use the IRS CTC UP website or Letter 6419–mailed to you from the IRS in December of 2021 or January of 2022–to reconcile any advance Child Tax Payments you received in 2021.
  • If you didn’t receive the total amount you were owed, claim that on Schedule 8812 of your Form 1040 when filing your 2021 taxes.
  • If you received more than the total amount you were owed, report that as additional income on your Form 1040 when filing your 2021 taxes.
  • Always make sure the IRS has your up-to-date address and banking information.

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Amy Northard, CPA

The Accountant for Creatives®
+ taxes + bookkeeping + consulting
+ Hang out with me over on Instagram!

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