HOUSTON - Some parents tell us they're having trouble collecting the child tax credit payments they're expecting. That's a few hundred dollars a month per child that is supposed to be coming from the American Rescue Plan.
The child tax credit was increased this year and is being sent out in monthly payments. $300 a month for kids under 6, $250 for kids ages 6 to 17.
But some parents say even though they filed their tax returns, they're not getting their payments.
"I don’t know why I’m not being paid. I have three kids. I have a special needs kid. I’m a single parent. The credit was going to do a lot for me," said one mother.
Parents tell us the struggle is real.
"I need to get school supplies. Kids have been home for a year due to the pandemic. I need to buy clothes for them, groceries," she added.
The group RAISE Texas wants to help parents apply for and resolve any problems collecting the child tax credit payments so they can use the money to make ends meet.
"They can also help families troubleshoot. They have children age 0 to 17, but haven’t gotten their payment," said Elizabeth Colvin with RAISE Texas.
BakerRipley's Neighborhood Tax Center is part of that coaltion ready to help.
But you may be able to fix the problem yourself. We talked with accountant Ed Gardner.
"You have on the IRS website where you can update your infoamtion. Maybe somebody moved, maybe someone changed their bank account," said Gardner.
This is the link to the Manage Payments portal on IRS.gov, where parents can check on payments and update bank and address information.
Payments go out on the 15th of each month, so changes must be made by the end of the previous month.
If you haven't received any payments yet, said Colvin, "The great news is that you’re still eligible to receive half of this child tax credit, and it will be divided over the remaining months between now and December. So there’s no reason not to apply."
But Gardner points out some parents may wish to stop payments if they expect a big tax bill next year or their situation has changed.
"Maybe somebody got divorced and you’re no longer claiming that child, or maybe in a divocrced situation, you're sharing the child," explained Gardner.
If you never receive your payments, you can claim them on your 2021 tax return.