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Published:   |   Last Updated: February 8, 2024

TAS Tax Tip: Did you have an advance payment of the Child Tax Credit issued to you, but did not receive it?

Haven't Received Your Advance Payment of the Child Tax Credit Issued to You Yet?

Missing Advance Child Tax Credit Payment

Very soon, if you received advance payments of the Child Tax Credit, you will be required to reconcile the payments received between July and December with the total amount of credit you are eligible for in the 2021 tax year; this reconciliation will be reported on your 2021 individual tax return.

That means there’s limited time to have the IRS trace a missing payment, that takes several weeks in the best-case scenario, and fix their records before you file, so that your tax return doesn’t get caught in a manual review situation. If the payments the IRS show as issued don’t match what you say was received, then this will delay the processing of your return while the discrepancy is reconciled. So, it’s best to request the IRS begin tracing a missing payment as soon as possible.

So, ask yourself – did you have an advance payment of the Child Tax Credit that shows on your account as issued to you, but you did not receive the payment? If yes, here’s what you need to do as soon as possible to find out what happened to it:

  • Step 1: Double check the IRS’s Child Tax Credit Update Portal to be sure it shows a payment was sent, when it was sent, and how it was sent (Direct Deposit or check).
  • Step 2: Check all of your bank accounts to ensure you didn’t just miss the corresponding deposit; or check with your spouse to ensure they didn’t get the check in the mail, cashed it, and simply forgot to tell you. Once you are sure the payment is indeed missing, see the next step.
  • Step 3: Request a payment trace to track your payment if you did not receive the payment after the timeframes below. The IRS will not be able to trace your payment unless it has been:
    • 5 days since the deposit date and the bank says it hasn’t received the payment;
    • 4 weeks since the payment was mailed by check to a standard address;
    • 6 weeks since the payment was mailed, and you have a forwarding address on file with the local post office;
    • 9 weeks since the payment was mailed, and you have a foreign address.
  • To request a payment trace, either call the IRS at 800-919-9835, or mail or fax a completed Form 3911, Taxpayer Statement Regarding Refund to the IRS as shown in the chart further below.
    • Do not request a payment trace to determine if you were eligible for a payment or to confirm the amount of payment you should have received.
    • Do not mail Form 3911 if you have already requested a trace by phone.

Completing the Form 3911

  • Be sure to complete sections I, II, and III. The top section on the form and Section IV is for the IRS to complete.
    • When completing item 7 under Section 1: Check the box for “Individual” as the Type of return
    • Enter “2021” as the Tax Period
    • Do not write anything for the Date Filed
  • Write “AdvCTCPMT” on the top of the form to identify the payment you want to trace. You should also add the specific month for the payment you are looking for. For example, “AdvCTCPMT-Oct.”
  • Sign the form. If you file married filing jointly, both spouses must sign the form.

IRS Form 3911 mailing addresses and fax numbers

Note: Do not send anything other than a Form 3911 to the fax numbers below.

If you live in…

then mail to this address…

or fax to…

Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont Andover Internal Revenue Service
310 Lowell St.
Andover, MA 01810
Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Virginia Atlanta Internal Revenue Service
4800 Buford Hwy
Chamblee, GA 30341
Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas Austin Internal Revenue Service
3651 S Interregional Hwy 35
Austin, TX 78741
New York Brookhaven Internal Revenue Service
1040 Waverly Ave.
Holtsville, NY 11742
Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada,
New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin,
Fresno Internal Revenue Service
3211 S Northpointe Dr.
Fresno, CA 93725
Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota,
Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, West Virginia
Kansas City Internal Revenue Service
333 W Pershing Rd.
Kansas City, MO 64108
Alabama, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina,
South Dakota, Tennessee
Memphis Internal Revenue Service
5333 Getwell Rd.
Memphis, TN 38118
District of Columbia, Idaho, Illinois, Pennsylvania,
Rhode Island, Philadelphia
Internal Revenue Service
2970 Market St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
A foreign country, U.S. possession or territory, or use an APO or FPO address, or file Form 2555 or 4563, or are a dual-status alien. Austin Internal Revenue Service
3651 S Interregional Hwy 35
Austin, TX 78741

What to expect

The IRS will process your claim, working with the Treasury Department’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service to track down the status of the payment and provide further instructions to follow, as appropriate.

This generally takes around 6 weeks but may take longer depending on the circumstances. You can get up-to-date status on affected IRS operations and services by following the link.

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