Millions waiting for child tax credit as IRS is still behind on tax returns

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Millions of Americans are waiting to receive their child tax credit money, and the waiting is causing frustration for several Hoosiers.

Earlier this year President Joe Biden passed the American Rescue Plan which allowed parents to receive their 2021 tax return early through the child tax credit. Parents with a child under the age of six would receive $3,600 for children and $3,000 per kid for children between six and 17 over the final six months of 2021 through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS.)

“The IRS is still behind,” said Linda Troyer, Tax Pro from Jackson Hewitt. “But the child tax credit is coming at a good time for several parents. It’s been helpful especially as kids go back to school, they have to buy school supplies, school clothes it’s just a really big help to those parents.”

According to the Feds, roughly 39 million households will begin receiving checks, “without any further action required.” The first round of checks went out in July. However, nearly 4 million parents who receive their child tax credit checks via direct deposit never received their money.

“The August payment was supposed to come out on the 13th of August,” Troyer said. “The direct deposit was supposed to go in that morning but unfortunately the IRS had a glitch in their system and some of the direct deposits did not go through.”

For those who didn’t receive payment on the 13th, the IRS will be sending a paper check. While the checks should come in the mail before the September payment, officials say they don’t have an exact date.

Troyer says the IRS is hoping to get the glitch fixed before the September payment is due. However, she wants taxpayers to keep in mind the IRS is still behind on 2019 and 2020 tax returns.

For parents who opted out of the child tax credit back in July, they can now choose to receive the money by going to IRS.gov and changing their status. Troyer says it’s important to remember that both parents have to make the change to either opt-out or take the monthly checks otherwise half of the money will be given to the spouse who didn’t make the change. Even if both parents are married and filed a joint tax return in 2020 both individuals have to opted-out or agree to take the checks.

Taxpayers can also change their banking information, their address, and other important information by going to IRS.gov. At the end of the year, the IRS will send a second letter of how much money they sent you for the child tax credit. Troyer says taxpayers need to keep that letter for when they file their 2021 taxes.

For those still waiting on their tax refunds, Troyer says going online to IRS.gov is the best option as the IRS phones often have long wait times and in recent months it has become harder to get a hold of someone at the IRS.

One of the biggest questions Troyer and other tax professionals at Jackson Hewitt say they receive a lot is what “happens if I don’t have a home or bank account?” Troyer says that taxpayers can still receive their payments from the IRS.

Several homeless shelters will allow people to use the address of the shelter so the taxpayer can receive their checks from the IRS. For someone who doesn’t have a banking account, Troyer recommends they get a prepaid bank card that checks can be loaded on to.

If you still have questions or need help changing your information online, Troyer says there are several organizations and government agencies that are willing to help taxpayers get their money.

If you have questions about your tax refund or the child tax credit, Troyer suggests you go to IRS.gov and go to the advance child tax credit page.

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