As tens of millions of American families gear up to receive the third installment of expanded child tax credits that were approved last spring under President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, know that there are still plenty of families who haven’t gotten their hands on a single dollar yet from the program.
However, do keep in mind that these individuals might be able to qualify for “catch-up” deposits through the end of the year, according to a release put out by the Treasury Department. For example, if one signs up this month, the missing payments from July and August will be added to the remaining checks through the end of the year.
The first two child tax credit payments were sent out July 15 and August 13, and this month’s batch is slated to be disbursed on the fifteenth. Under Biden’s stimulus bill, eligible parents can now collect as much as $3,600 per year for a child under the age of six and up to $3,000 for children between ages six and seventeen. This all means that a $250 or a $300 cash payment for each child will head into the pocketbooks of eligible parents every month through the end of 2021.
IRS Missing Information
The reason why some eligible families haven’t received their payments is because the Internal Revenue Service does not have the necessary information—such as a valid address and routing and bank account numbers—to properly disburse the funds.
“Many people miss out on tax benefits simply because they don’t file a tax return,” IRS Wage & Investment Commissioner Ken Corbin, who also serves as the agency’s Chief Taxpayer Experience Officer, said in a statement.
With this in mind, the Biden administration recently launched a new mobile-friendly online portal—GetCTC.org—in an effort to assist low-income Americans who don't generally file taxes claim the child tax credits or the missing stimulus payments. Available in English and Spanish, it was jointly rolled out by the U.S. Treasury Department, the White House, and the nonprofit tech organization Code for America.
Do take note that the IRS has a Non-filer Sign-up Tool that can also be used to give the tax agency the required information. The IRS also recently launched a new feature that enables any eligible family to update their mailing address using the Child Tax Credit Update Portal, which can also be used to change their bank account information for any future direct deposits. Future enhancements to the portal might include being able to add or remove children, report a change in marital status, and report a significant change in income.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.