According to the Treasury Department, households that missed one of the initial advance child tax credit (CTC) payments may still be entitled to receive catch-up deposits through the end of the year.
The majority of eligible households do not have to do anything to receive their checks. Taxpayers who declared an eligible child on their income tax return in 2019 or 2020, or who signed up for a stimulus check last year and had an eligible child, should have received their first two CTC payments automatically.
The first two enhanced CTC payments, worth up to $300 for children under the age of 6 and $250 for children aged 6 to 17 each month through the end of the year, were distributed on July 15 and August 13, respectively; the third will be made available next week.
However, the IRS does not have information for everyone who qualifies. Those who did not get a payment can sign up for future payments in a few ways: Low-income families that do not normally file can use a website developed by Code for America and the Treasury Department to file a simplified tax return.
Other families will be able to update their bank account and mailing address information using the IRS' Child Tax Credit Update Portal.
The IRS initially stated that catch-up payments will most likely be made next tax season. Those who update their information now, however, may get additional monthly payments to catch up until the end of the year, according to the Treasury.
The U.S. Treasury recommends using the GETCTC.org tool for low-income families who don't regularly file their taxes.
People who have already filed their 2020 tax returns are not required to do anything in order to get their CTC payments. The IRS should have automatically sent the first two CTC payments via direct deposit or paper mail.
It's worth mentioning that the IRS has recently had system issues. Payment delays resulted from the malfunction, which prompted the system to transmit child tax credit payments through paper mail rather than direct transfer. It's possible that the delivery date will be pushed back up to three weeks.
According to research from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, almost 4 million children in the poorest families are at risk of missing out on the benefits. They will receive the advance deposits if they sign up today.