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Why haven’t families received their child tax credit checks and how do they find out where they are?

Many families have found themselves either still waiting for August’s child tax credit, or even worse, still waiting for July’s.

The child tax credits are meant to benefit families after they’ve been through the pandemic, and with childcare costs and school expenses, the IRS doesn’t seem to be doing families any favors.

One issue is the IRS sent families paper checks in August after an error, which takes considerably longer. This happened for around 4 million households.


Other issues are direct deposit errors or wrong mailing addresses.

Families who were missed in July will still get the same amount, but in 5 payments instead of 6.

Luckily, child tax credit status can be checked online.

The Child Tax Credit Update Portal shows processed monthly payment history and should also show pending payments that have not be deposited yet.

Checking the Processed Payment section may answer your question as to whether a payment was delivered or address and banking information is correct.


To check, all people need to do is register with their IRS username and identification. Photo ID is needed for first time users to help protect themselves from identity theft.

A bank account will have the deposit labeled as CHILDCTC.

Reasons for people missing their child tax credits include the IRS not having an up-to-date address or bank account, if you’re a victim of tax identity theft and the issues are still ongoing, if families are ‘mixed’ and a parent is an immigrant (which caused a glitch in the IRS that was corrected for the August checks), or a family’s 2020 tax return is still processing.

For families still missing a payment that don’t think any of these reasons apply, they can file for a payment trace, and mail or fax Form 3911 to the tax agency.

A payment trace should be submitted when 5 days has passed since a direct deposit should have happened, 4 weeks after a check was mailed to a standard address, 6 weeks after a check was mailed to a forwarded address, and 9 weeks after a check was mailed to a foreign address.



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