Update on the Stimulus Package: How to Get an IRS Trace for a Misplaced Child Tax Credit Check

Are you missing one or more Child Tax Credit (CTC) payments for the year 2021? It’s possible that you’ll need to ask the IRS for a payment trace, especially if your monthly check is critical to your budget.

You can check your payment history on the Child Tax Credit Update Portal before calling the IRS. However, if you don’t see the payment history, the IRS may still be working on the payment and it may not have been issued via mail or direct deposit.

Update on the Stimulus Package: How to Get an IRS Trace for a Misplaced Child Tax Credit Check
Update on the Stimulus Package: How to Get an IRS Trace for a Misplaced Child Tax Credit Check

Requesting a payment trace from the IRS can be done, but the agency can’t begin the process until it has:

  • Your bank has not received the direct deposit for five days;
  • In the past four weeks, your cheque has been delivered to an address in the United States.
  • At least six weeks have passed since your check was forwarded; at most nine weeks have passed since your check was mailed internationally.

The IRS can be reached at (800) 919-9835 or (800) 829-1040 if you haven’t gotten your CTC payment. You can also send in a completed Form 3911 by mail or fax if you haven’t received your payment yet. If you’ve already called the IRS and requested a payment trace, do not mail the form.

Recommended:

Fill out the form with “AdvCTCPMT” (Advanced Child Tax Credit payment) written at the top. Write down the month or months you want to go back to next to it. Sections I, II, and III must be completed. In Section I, item 7, choose “individual” as the return type and enter “2021” for the tax period. Don’t fill in “date filed.” Both you and your spouse must sign the document if you filed jointly.

Claims for missing CTC payments will be processed and tracked by the Treasury Department’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service. According to the IRS, a payment trace or response could take up to six weeks.

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