Despite three rounds of dependent stimulus checks and the advance monthly child tax credit (CTC) paid in 2021, many tax payers are still waiting to be paid and are relying on their 2021 tax filing to get missing payments for their eligible dependents.
While retroactive payments were made or “caught-up” for stimulus checks, missing eligible payments for the CTC were made by adjusting the overall payment for subsequent months. However many eligible recipients still didn’t get their advance child tax credit payment.
You could have used the IRS’ CTC portal to claim missing payments, but the best bet to claim it now is probably via your 2021 tax filing, which you can now file for free via leading providers like TurboTax or eFile. You will also need to file a tax return to claim the remaining six months of dependent payments.
You can see this detailed CTC article or Youtube video for more FAQs around the advance child tax credit and missed payments.
Also just be mindful of overpayments that you will have to reconcile on your 2021 tax return. If your income changed (e.g. went up) or your dependent status’ changed due to a divorce or them filing a 2021 return (and hence no longer a claimable dependent) you may have to repay any payments you are no longer eligible for.
Stay In the Know: Subscribe via email and watch our YouTube channel for tax season updates
Third Dependent Stimulus Payment
A third round of dependent stimulus “check” payments has now been paid under the enacted $1.9 Trillion Biden COVID Relief Package (American Rescue Plan Act, ARPA). The latest amount in this round of payments is $1400 for each dependent, the same as the adult stimulus payment.
You can see all the eligibility rules for payment in this article. The biggest takeaway with the 3rd stimulus check payment is that while the maximum income eligibility thresholds were lowered to get the stimulus bill approved, a much broader set of dependents (e.g. college age kids, disabled adults and elderly parents) are now eligible to receive an economic impact payment via the IRS.
Unfortunately the expanded payment amount and eligibility rules mean that payment issues are persisting again, similar to the earlier IRS payment challenges discussed below, and in the comments forum following this article.
When Will I Get Paid and Expect Payment Issues
Most Americans have now been paid their latest dependent stimulus, including any catch-up payments, based on the latest IRS stimulus payment schedule. These federal payments were based on the later of your 2019 or 2020 tax filing, including the specified payment method (direct deposit, check, debit card). For non-filers (see below) they will use payment data from other federal agencies or information from earlier processed stimulus check payments. Due to the fact that payments went out in the middle of tax season it has been very hard to get a hold of someone in the IRS to help with payment or eligibility issues.
And per prior payment rounds these will be done in several batches which means adults could see their stimulus payments come through before their dependent checks hit bank accounts. Mailed stimulus checks an debit cards will take several weeks to be sent. The IRS GMP tool is the best place to get the latest status of EIP/stimulus payments. Also note, adult dependents won’t be paid separately. All payments go to the adult who claimed the dependent.
Plus Up Stimulus Payments to Capture Updated Dependent Information (from 2020 returns)
The IRS is aware that several people have updated income and dependent information in their most recent (2020) tax filing. As a result the IRS is now processing additional or plus-up extra stimulus payments for tax filers who had earlier received payments based on their 2019 tax return information but are now eligible for a new or larger payment based on their recently processed 2020 tax returns. These “plus-up” payments per the IRS could include a situation where a person’s income dropped in 2020 compared to 2019, or a person had a new child or dependent on their 2020 tax return, and other situations.
Third Stimulus Payments for Adults Now Being Issued by the IRS, but Dependent Payments Late (again!)
Like the first and second dependent stimulus checks there already appear to be ongoing issues with the IRS issuing the third dependent stimulus payments at the same time as the adult payments. You can see a discussion of earlier issues (and solutions) in this video and in the updates below. See the the email I got from Jim recently regarding his payment situation. Sounds like many of the emails I received during earlier stimulus payment rounds and the many comments below this article.
I really love your work and your YouTube channel (I’m a subscriber) and today I received my $1400 stimulus (yay) however I did NOT receive any $ for my 2 dependent minor children ($2800). Do you know if payments are sent all at the same time or are they staggered? Where can I go to find out if you don’t know? Thank you SO MUCH!
Answer: Thanks Jim. Stimulus Payments are sent in batches and the IRS Get My Payment tool is where you get the latest status. Dependents could lag several weeks in getting their stimulus (in the claiming adult’s account) given broader eligibility verification and related IRS updates to their systems.
Stimulus Payments for Non-Filers and Dependent and Payment Information Updates
For Non-filers who haven’t filed a recent tax return, the IRS has worked with relevant agencies (e.g. SSA for Social Security recipients) to get the latest payment and dependent data. There is also talk of a new non-filer tool the IRS would roll out to allow payment and dependent detail updates for this payment. This would also allow updates to flow through for the other expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) stimulus payments in the ARP package. Or else the IRS will use payment and dependent details based on previous stimulus payments.
California $500 Dependent Check
CA Governor Newsom recently announced an expansion to the recent Golden State Stimulus, provides $1100 in additional direct payments to Californian middle-class families that make up to $75,000. It will provide an additional $600 direct payments to adults and a $500 dependent payment for qualified families. If the bill is approved, it would be paid out later this year.
Stay In the Know: Subscribe via email and watch our YouTube channel for tax season updates
Delayed Payments for Those Who Filed 2020 Tax Returns
Based on comments I am seeing on this article it does appear that those who recently filed a 2020 tax return are seeing delays with this round of payments, despite getting the first and second on schedule. Here are a couple of comments illustrating this.
I received my dependent payments separately for the first 2 payments. This time [3rd stimulus] I got everything at once. I am a nonflier so I did the form last year for that. It seems like they do it differently each time. It also looks like everyone who filed 2020 taxes is not getting their stimulus as fast this time. My daughter always got hers right away and she has not seen hers yet this time, she filed her 2020 taxes and is eligible. However myself and my partner both got ours this time and neither of us filed [our 2020 return] yet.
I claimed the recovery on my 2020 taxes and received my tax returns a week ago. I still haven’t received either portion of the third stimulus either. When I use the payment tool it says “not enough information or not eligible”. Does it give you the same message? I’m not understanding what is going on either and it’s very frustrating. I hope this semi-helps and hopefully we will be seeing our payments soon!
There are two likely reasons for this. One is that your 2020 income was too high to qualify, The other reason could be due to the behind the scenes data processing at the IRS where they need to ensure recent 2020 tax data is matched/aligned to their stimulus payment programs and systems. It should eventually work out, but you could get your payment a bit later than usual in a later tranche.
I will keep posting updates on this third round of payments. Please follow me via the options below and keep reviewing comments to see how others are dealing with payment and eligibility issues.
Stay In the Know: Subscribe via email and watch our YouTube channel for tax season updates
Second $600 Dependent Stimulus Check Payment Review
The $900 billion COVID relief bill (CAA) included another (second) round of stimulus payments for adults and ALL qualifying dependent children under the age of 17 at the end of 2020. While the adult stimulus check amount was only $600, half of the original $1200 stimulus payment, in order to keep the overall stimulus package price tag reasonable for Republican Senators to approve, the new dependent stimulus payment will be $100 more at $600 per qualified dependent. You can see full details of this payment and updated income thresholds in this article, which also looks at the proposed $1,400 third dependent stimulus check. Please also see the FAQs below and hundreds of comments at the end of this article for others who are waiting for or got their missed payments. I also covered payment challenges in this video.
[Update Feb 16th, 2021] The IRS has confirmed it has issued all first and second Economic Impact (Stimulus Check) Payments it is legally permitted to issue, based on information on file for eligible payees and their dependents. The GMP tool was last updated on Jan. 29, 2021, to reflect the final payments and will not update again for first or second Economic Impact Payments.
If you haven’t yet received your payment and GMP is not showing payment details then the IRS is recommending you claim this (and past missing payments if eligible) via a recovery rebate credit in your 2020 tax return that you will file this year. Major tax software providers like Turbo Tax and Tax Act have updated their software to allow tax payers to claim their missing first or second stimulus payment as a recovery rebate with their 2020 tax filing.
If you are unable to claim the missing dependent stimulus payments via your tax return then you can potentially wait for the new stimulus claimant tool per Biden’s executive order to the IRS/Treasury.
[Updated Feb 5th, 2021] The IRS is still sending dependent stimulus payments but it’s ONLY to the taxpayers whose payment got deposited into a wrong account or waiting to get it by check or debit card. The IRS will not be issuing new or additional payments to anyone who hasn’t yet received their expected dependent stimulus payment and has no payment status showing in the GMP tool. They are prepping up their system for tax filing season and have no time to issue missing dependent payments unfortunately. See the FAQs below on how to claim your missing or incorrect dependent stimulus via a recovery rebate credit (RRC) or a potentially NEW tool that Biden ordered the IRS to implement to help deal with missing stimulus payments. This is shown below and also discussed in this video.
Biden Executive order for Treasury to provide online tool for claiming missing stimulus payments
[Update Jan 25th] There may be some hope for those who yet to receive their stimulus payment (and have not or cannot claim it via their tax return) following President Biden’s recent executive order instructing the treasury department reopen the non-filers tool or create a new online tool for people to claim their missing or partially paid stimulus checks. This would mean that getting missing checks via tax return won’t be the only option. While details are still to be released by the Treasury Department (under which the IRS falls), who would be responsible for implementing this executive order, it would likely include both adult and dependent stimulus payments.
Also I have posted two recent videos on this topic – one is a detailed review of the $600 Dependent Stimulus and the subsequent one is a Q&A for Issues People are Seeing with this Payment (please like and subscribe if you find these videos useful).
Issues with my Second Dependent Stimulus Check (Recovery Rebate) Payments
Like the first round of dependent payments (see updates below), many readers are reporting similar issues with the IRS payments for the second child dependent stimulus payment, despite already having received their adult stimulus checks. At this point it is best to wait for the IRS to finish processing (January 15, 2021), especially if you had issues with the first round of payments. They will be using your 2019 tax return or Non-Filer data (for those who don’t file a tax return) as of November 21st, 2020 to determine how and who gets paid.
If you haven’t yet received your stimulus payment you will need to check state on the IRS website (Get My Payment GMP Tool), call their call center (later in January 2021 is better) or just file for this when you submit your 2020 tax return in 2021. Major tax software providers like Turbo Tax and Tax Act are updating their software to allow tax payers to claim their missing first or second stimulus payment as a recovery rebate with their 2020 tax filing.
Its Mid-January and I Still haven’t got my payment. Help!
Based on the comments below and on the videos above a lot of people are still reporting they have yet to receive their dependent stimulus payment, despite having received their adult stimulus check. The IRS is still processing payments, including those by direct deposit, check and debit card, so you need to keep checking the status for your payment online as it could change (only updated nightly). The IRS has also noted issues with payments related to tax filing with some large tax filing providers and mistakes on their end that required them to redirect payments (e.g. incorrect bank account) as checks and debit cards. However if you have not received your stimulus payment by the end of January or get a status in GMP tool saying it will be paid ten the only recourse you will likely have is to claim it via filing a 2020 tax return (see free options here at TurboTax).
Can I update dependent information in the non-filers tool?
The non-filers tools is closed for updates now. So if you haven’t got paid or the GMP tool is not showing payment by check or debit card by now, you won’t be get automatically paid and really only have two options left – either claim it via a recovery rebate credit in your tax return or hope that the IRS reopens the non-filer tool at some point (or works with agency to figure out missed payments). I think the later option will mean several months delays if the first stimulus was any indication. Even if you don’t file (and didn’t expect to this year) you may need to do so to get your payment sooner. You can also use this approach to update your dependent information and bank account details. Also note if you don’t file and someone else (e.g. an ex spouse) does file a 2020 tax return legitimately claiming your dependent they will get the stimulus payment and you may permanently miss out. So file unless you have a strong reason not too or are okay with potentially waiting months or missing out on the stimulus payment. With a third Biden stimulus payment likely in March or April 2021, this makes not filing a less appealing option.
No Deposit in Your Bank Account? Then you may be getting a Debit Card in the Mail
Per the latest IRS processing schedule update, they have nearly completed paying the second stimulus check payments that were sent out by direct deposit. This includes dependent payments. They are now processing stimulus payments that were known to have errors and as a result millions of taxpayers will receive their second Economic Impact Payments (stimulus checks) by debit card instead. These prepaid debit cards are faster and more secure than checks, and can easily converted to cash.
Note that the form of payment for the second stimulus check may be different than the first one (even if you got it late via check). Some people who received a paper check last time might receive a prepaid debit card this time, and some people who received a prepaid debit card last time may receive a paper check. People can check the status of both their first and second payments by using the IRS’ Get My Payment tool, which will show the mailing date for these debit cards. If you have not received your stimulus payment in the mail (debit card or check) by the end of January and the GMP tool has does not show the payment then the only recourse you will likely have is to claim it via filing a 2020 tax return.
How do I claim the missing stimulus check payment for my dependents if I don’t file a return and don’t plan to in 2020 (e.g. social security recipient)?
Getting a lot of comments from people who don’t file taxes and wondering how they can claim the missing stimulus check for their dependents (or themselves). Basically even if you don’t file taxes you still had to file a Non filers form on the IRS website. It’s too late as of now to file that from and get the second payment out to you as that deadline has passed (was Nov 20th, 2020) and the non-filers tool is closed. The IRS is now recommending that even non-filers must file Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR to claim the missing stimulus payments (officially known as a Recovery Rebate Credit). Anyone with income of $72,000 or less can file this form for free through most large tax providers like Turbo Tax or Tax Act, or electronically for free through the IRS Free File Program
My Child was 16 in 2019? But if I claim him in my 2020 return he won’t qualify for the Dependent stimulus
Note that when you file your 2020 tax return, the age criteria for the dependent stimulus check still applies. Some people are finding that they would have been eligible for first and/or second dependent stimulus because it allowed 2018 OR 2019 tax information. to be used for the dependents age (have to be younger than 17). However if they claim the missing dependent stimulus as a recovery rebate credit via their tax return they will have to use the 2020 age for this and many kids who turned 17 in 2020 would no longer be eligible to get this payment.
2018 vs 2019 return data causing payment issues
Several people are reporting (in comments below and video above) that they are seeing payment issues with the second round of payments. One significant item I am seeing cause these issues is that the IRS used 2018 returns in several instances for the first dependent stimulus payment, while this time they are only using people’s 2019 return (or non-filers data from first stimulus payment). So if your data is different between the two years then your dependent check will have payment issues.
Other items to check for: Ensure no one else has claimed your dependent. If you have an ex-spouse or another guardian who are claimed them in their 2019 return (or via non-filer tool) then you will have issues getting the second round of dependent stimulus (recovery rebate) payments. Note that the IRS will not be deducting
Missing Payment Status means no automatic stimulus
According to the IRS, if the GMP reflects a direct deposit date and partial account information, then your payment has been sent via direct deposit. If you see a mailing date, that’s when a check or debit card was sent and could take 3 to 4 weeks to get to you. However if you get the status of “Payment Status #2 – Not Available” on the Get My Payment (GMP) stimulus tracker tool, it means you won’t be getting the second stimulus check automatically sent to you. Instead you would have to claim in your 2020 tax return filing and claim it is a recovery rebate credit. There is no second round of automatic payments for this status
Also the IRS is making payments in several batches, so you may get your adult stimulus check first and your dependent one a few days or weeks later if processed in subsequent payment batches. This is likely the case if you had issues with your first payment and faced delays when getting.
[Update on First Stimulus payment for Dependents] As you can see from the many recent comments on this article, it looks like the GAO (Government Accountability Office) and IRS have resolved glitches on the non-filer portal for those who do not file a tax return. This means the $500 dependent stimulus, approved under the CARES act, which was missing for many eligible recipients is now being processed. Those who missed getting their payments with their original $1200/$2400 stimulus check have reported that starting July the IRS has been mailing and depositing their overdue payments. So they no longer need to wait till 2021 to file their return or wait for another fix to get the much needed $500 payment.
Per the IRS, “The IRS corrected the programming error on May 17, 2020. The IRS will automatically issue additional $500 EIP per qualifying child to affected individuals in early August. Direct deposit payments are scheduled for August 5, 2020, and paper checks or debit cards are scheduled to be mailed August 7, 2020.”
Further, another $500 dependent stimulus payment has all but been confirmed under the latest stimulus package being developed in Congress. You can see further details in this article. The good news is that eligibility for this payment will be expanded for those under 24 (vs under 17 in first payment). You should expect to see this payment paid along with the second stimulus check for eligible recipients.
Spouse’s past-due child support. The IRS is also actively working to resolve cases where a portion or all of an individual’s payment was taken and applied to their spouse’s past-due child support. People in this situation do not need to take any action. The IRS will automatically issue the portion of the stimulus check that was applied to the other spouse’s debt.
[Previous Update] With over 100 million stimulus payments made, one of the most concerning questions I am seeing is around individuals or families receiving the standard adult stimulus check (a.k.a economic impact payment) of $1200 or $2400 but not receiving the $500 payment for each of their qualified child dependents. Here is what I found when looking into this further.
The first thing to check is that you do indeed meet all the required income and qualify child criteria (e.g under 17) for the $500 per dependent child stimulus payment. Remember for most Americans this is based on your 2018 or 2019 (whichever was the latest) tax return filed and approved by the IRS. Not your current situation or changes since you filed your last return.
The criteria to receive this kids stimulus credit is even higher thank the Child Tax Credit (CTC), so if you didn’t qualify for the CTC in past years you won’t qualify for this payment either.
Social Security retirement, disability benefits (SSDI) and Railroad Retirement benefit recipients and for those that earn too little to file a tax return need to have registered via the IRS’ Non Filers payment update tool to receive the $500 per dependent child payment in addition to their $1,200 individual payment. This is because the IRS does not have the the qualifying dependent information for these groups.
So I did all of the above and met all criteria but still didn’t get the $500 kid payment? Some possible answers.
For many recipients, who have met all the criteria for the child stimulus, the reason they haven’t yet got a stimulus check is due to the fact the IRS systems processing these payments are truly not working due to technical or data glitches around how the IRS systems manages dependent information. Eg if your child’s information has gaps or missing information or you didn’t provide a valid SSN in your latest tax return then no payment will be made.
Those using the IRS non-filers tool to enter dependent information have also been disproportionately impacted by the missing $500 payments. This is likely another technical glitch with the fillable form as discussed subsequent to the IRS update below.
The other likely explanation you didn’t get the payment is because someone else claimed the dependent on their tax return or in a later filing than yours. This is a big issue for families that are divided, filing separately or where the dependent is not a direct child of the claimant. So you need to make sure that you were the sole claimant or someone else may have received the $500 payment. Finally your payment can be intercepted for overdue child support payments. So you may have gotten the payment but it went to your spouse or someone else who claimed the child.
Another common error being reported is that those who did not owe or did not get a refund on their latest return are stuck in limbo within IRS payment systems because the IRS does not have their banking details. The IRS is aware of these types of issues and trying to correct them in ongoing system update. They have advised they are doing multiple batches of stimulus check payments and those whose payment were held by due to IRS errors may start seeing them in coming weeks (mailed out via paper checks)
One reader left a comment that stated the following, “We got the payment for myself and my wife and it was deposited into an account that was only set up a few months ago so we know they used the information from our 2019 return (plus we weren’t required to file in 2018). But while that return has all the info for both our 5 year old and our 1 year old we did not receive the $500 for either of them. The deposit we received was $2400 instead of $3400. This is especially frustrating because we actually weren’t required to file in 2019 either, but we used the TurboTax thing that came out a couple of weeks before payments started and was marketed as the fastest way for non-filers to get their info to the IRS (which was actually by filing a very limited return). So we went out of our way to use this tool which was supposedly put out in partnership between Intuit and the IRS to get them our info and they still screwed it up?
The above comment confirms another potential cause for the missing $500 payment attributed to filing a simple return via Tax software providers (like Turbo Tax, HR Block) which has caused issues when it comes to the IRS processing dependent payments for these filings. The evidence is anecdotal but the above comment does confirm what many lower income Americans are seeing. Hopefully the IRS fixes this (or provides a number to call) or they’ll have to wait till filing their 2020 return to claim the $500 payment.
Can I call the IRS? At this point there is little recourse for most people trying to resolve this by speaking to someone at the IRS. The agency however just announced they are adding live representatives to take calls on the stimulus check payments (see details here). Most people will still however have to wait for their Economic Impact Payment letter as a way to confirm payment and follow-up on missing or incorrect payments.
IRS Update on $500 payment – Unfortunately the IRS has confirmed that those who did not receive the full amount of their expected stimulus payment, including the supplementary $500 child dependent payment, will need to claim the additional amount when they file their 2020 tax return. This is a tough break for many families who needed/expected the $500 payment as soon as possible and were hoping to get a supplementary or corrective payment in the mail sometime in the near future. You’ll now need to wait till 2021 when you file your tax return to fix this and get paid the child stimulus if you are eligible.
VA and SSI recipients may have a little more time to have the $500 added automatically to their standard stimulus check payment by using the Non-Filers tool (via IRS website). However they must file by May 5th to qualify or like most American’s they will have to wait until 2021 to get the additional $500 when filing a 2020 tax return.
Note, a number of comments below indicate that even using the non-filers tools is causing issues with receiving this payment. There seems to be a problem with the online form where there is no box to check to claim your kids as dependents , even though you put in all their information (the printed form seems to have this). I am sure the IRS is looking into this, but looks like yet another technical/coding glitch with the non-filers tool that is just using online fill-able forms.
Direct Express Account Holders: You may use the Non-Filers tool, but you cannot receive your and your children’s payment on your Direct Express account. You may only select a bank account for direct deposit or leave bank information blank and receive the money by mail.
Both parents received the $500 payment. So a few unmarried or separated parents with an eligible child commented that they both got the $500 child stimulus payment as they filed separately. The good news, or loophole is that there is no provision in the law requiring repayment of the payment. So you get to keep it if you get it. The IRS will send Notice 1444, Your Economic Impact Payment, to each parent and they should keep the notice for their 2020 tax records.
I’ll update this post if I get any additional information or if the IRS posts updated guidance, but feel free to share your story. You can also subscribe via email or follow via social media options shown below to get the latest updates.