What Can I Do If I’m Not Enrolled for Child Tax Credit Payments?

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The first of the monthly child tax credit payments are set to hit millions of American families’ bank accounts this Thursday on July 15.

Discover: Why Upcoming Child Tax Credit Payments Are a Good Thing for Retailers
Find Out: Is There Still Time To Get The Child Tax Credit?

If you are not sure if you are enrolled for the child tax credit payments, you can check through the online IRS portal here. This eligibility assistance tool will tell you whether or not you qualify for payments. If you do qualify, but discover that you are not scheduled to receive any payment, there are a number of reasons why you could be excluded. Here’s what you can do.

Related: Are You Eligible For The Child Tax Credit? Here’s How To Find Out

Switch to Direct Deposit

One of the biggest delays people will potentially face in receiving their CTC payment will be if they are not connected through direct deposit. While the IRS expects over 90 percent of eligible families to receive direct deposit payments, the remainder will have to receive them through a paper check. A third option is a pre-loaded debit card — similar to how social security benefits are distributed — but there has been no timeline released as to when families can expect these.

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Learn: How To Use The Child Tax Credit Direct Deposit Portal

Through the online portal, you can manage your profile and add your bank routing and checking number in order to update your payment information to ensure faster processing and payment.

File Your Tax Return

Although the deadline has officially passed, you can still file your taxes for 2020. Doing this can only add to the benefit, as it will automatically enroll you for the child tax credit. The IRS will automatically update you after your return has been processed, and will adjust any of the monthly payments you have missed thus far towards next year’s return.

More: How Long Will the Child Tax Credit Payments Last?

Use The Non-Filer Tool

It’s possible many simply do not know that they are eligible to receive the child tax credit because this benefit is ordinarily only available to taxpayers. This year, however, any American family below the income threshold who has qualifying age children can receive the credit. If you do not ordinarily file taxes, do not intend to this year or do not make enough to file, you can still use the non-filer tool to enroll yourself to receive the full child tax credit benefit amount.

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See: Making the Child Tax Credit Permanent Would be a Boost to the Economy, According to Some Experts
Find: How Is the Child Tax Credit Calculated? Find Out Before the First Payment on July 15

For all of the above options — even if you miss one or all of the monthly payments — you will still be able to claim the full amount during next year at tax time.

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Last updated: July 13, 2021

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About the Author

Georgina Tzanetos is a former financial advisor who studied post-industrial capitalist structures at New York University. She has eight years of experience with concentrations in asset management, portfolio management, private client banking, and investment research. Georgina has written for Investopedia and WallStreetMojo. 
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