The Child Tax Credit Is Slowing Down Your Refund – Here’s Why

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If you are eligible to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Child Tax Credit on your 2021 tax returns, you may not receive your refund as quickly as you expected, even if you file right away. The IRS has put out a notice informing taxpayers that, by law, the agency cannot issue EITC or CTC refunds before mid-February.

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This includes the entire refund, the notice says, not just the portion related to the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Child Tax Credit.

However, the IRS said that you should expect to see your refund on or around March 1 if you filed properly. Doing these four things can help speed up the process:

  • File online.
  • Choose direct deposit for your tax refund.
  • Make sure to include the Social Security Numbers for you, your spouse, and any qualifying children or dependents. These numbers must be valid and have been issued before the due date for the tax year.
  • Ensure your tax return is error-free (if the IRS find an issue with your return, it could hold up your refund).
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If you followed these steps and filed early, you could receive your refund by Feb. 19, 2022, the IRS said. To check the status of your refund, visit the Where’s My Refund page on the IRS website or download the IRS2Go app for your mobile device.

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About the Author

Dawn Allcot is a full-time freelance writer and content marketing specialist who geeks out about finance, e-commerce, technology, and real estate. Her lengthy list of publishing credits include Bankrate, Lending Tree, and Chase Bank. She is the founder and owner of, a travel, technology, and entertainment website. She lives on Long Island, New York, with a veritable menagerie that includes 2 cats, a rambunctious kitten, and three lizards of varying sizes and personalities – plus her two kids and husband. Find her on Twitter, @DawnAllcot.
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