August child tax credit payments issued: Here’s why yours might be delayed

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Payments are set to go out to more than 30 million qualifying households, according to the federal tax agency. (iStock/Getty Image Plus)

(KTLA) — The second installment of expanded child tax credits was issued Friday to millions of eligible families, but some payments will likely be delayed due to a technical glitch, the U.S. Department of Treasury said.

In total, over $15 billion was distributed by the IRS for the child tax credit in August, according to a Treasury news release.

This month’s payments were sent to about 36 million families and covered approximately 61 million children, which is 1.6 million more than the first installment in July, officials said.

Qualifying families received up to $300 for each child 5 years old and younger, and $250 per child ages 6 through 17.

Households that didn’t receive the July payment and are getting the first child tax credit this month will see even bigger amounts — up to $360 per child under 6 and up to $300 for every child between 6 and 17 years old, according to the IRS. Since their payment will be spread out over five months instead of six, those families can expect the higher figure for each installment.

In California, the IRS sent out 4,283,000 checks that impacted 7,088,000 children. The payments totaled $1,791,473,000, working out to an average amount of $418 per payment, Treasury figures showed.

Most households received the payment via direct deposit, but some who got theirs through that method last month can expect a paper check in the mail instead, according to the Treasury Department. That’s because of a “technical issue” impacting less than 15% of recipients.

As a result, some households may see their August payment delayed, since direct deposit is generally the fastest way to receive money from the IRS.

“For those receiving their payments by paper check, be sure to allow extra time for delivery by mail through the end of August,” a news release from the federal agency stated.

The glitch is expected to be resolved by September payments, which are slated to be disbursed on the 15th, the department said.

Those who don’t have their direct deposit already on file with the IRS will also be receiving a paper check in the mail.

(Eligible families can track their payment and see how they’ll be receiving the advance child tax credit through the IRS’s online portal.)

For those who haven’t received the payments but believe they are eligible for them, they can request a trace through the IRS. The following time frames must be met before seeking one:

  • Five days since the direct deposit date, provided the bank hasn’t yet received the payment 
  • Four weeks since the payment was mailed to a standard address 
  • Six weeks since the payment was mailed if the post office has a forwarding address on file for the recipient
  • Nine weeks since the payment was mailed for those with an international address

The form to start the trace process can be found here.

Most households don’t need to do anything to receive the six monthly payments for the remainder of the this year, which are primarily based on 2019 or 2020 tax filings. The final half can be claimed next year on the 2021 tax return.

For eligible Americans who don’t typically pay taxes but qualify for the expanded child tax credit, it’s not too late to sign up through the IRS’s non-filers tool.

Additionally, a new mobile-friendly sign up tool will be unveiled soon — part of the Biden administration’s effort to ensure all eligible families receive the tax credit, according to the news release. The Treasury Department has not provided a launch date yet but said the tool will be introduced “in the coming weeks.”

More information about the advance child tax credit can be found here.

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