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Why were some parents only paid half of their December child tax credit payment?

Dec. 15 marked the final child tax credit payment sent to millions of Americans.

Millions of families have been relying heavily on these payments to make ends meet.

30 million children were reportedly lifted out of poverty thanks to these payments.

Related: With monthly child tax credit payments ending, here are 6 ways you can get money

While these payments have been helpful for many, many people were surprised by the amounts when they received the payment yesterday.

Some saw larger checks while others were surprised with a lower amount than they expected.

In all, the IRS has sent out $15 billion every month since July.

Many families saw larger checks because they opted in later, and are being paid for the missed months.

Related: Some families can apply for a $4,500 stimulus program in 2022, are you eligible?

Why some parents saw less money for their December child tax credit payment

Many families did not get the full $250 or $300 this month.

There were technical issues with the Sept. payment, which could be one reason.

2% of families did not get their Sept. payment, then when they did it was ore than it should have been.

Related: Some families can expect a $1,400 stimulus check in 2022, here’s who qualifies


To cancel it out, the IRS simply gave lower amounts for the remaining payments to those who were impacted.

It reduced payments by around $10-$13 per child each month.

The issue impacted couples filing jointly where one made a change to their information in the portal and the other did not.

If you see a change this month, it could be for that same reason. If one spouse made a change and the other did not, then it could have decreased the amount you were paid.

Related: Surprise stimulus checks going out this December, here’s who can get them

What you can do if you did not get your payment

The income cap for the full amount is $150,000 for married couples.

Children under age 6 will see $3,600 and children 6-17 will see $3,000.

If you haven’t received payments, check with the IRS through the online portal to make sure you’re eligible and enrolled.

Related: Child Tax Credit: Some families will receive $1,800 per child tomorrow

Check that your information like address and banking information is up to date.

If you missed the deadline to file your taxes, then you need to do so in 2022 to claim the full amount for each child.

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