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IRS problem halted child tax credit payments for families with immigrant spouse

Some families who waited for the first child tax credit payment last month were disappointed when the money did not arrive. And they were even more disappointed when they found out that they shared a common denominator: they were so-called “mixed-status” families, with one parent who is an American citizen and the other an immigrant.

One of those workers, who requested that his name not be used due to concerns about his immigration status with his employer, said he expected $ 250 for his child, who is a citizen American, just like her spouse. But when the money did not arrive on July 15, they soon realized that many other “mixed status” families had experienced the same problem.

But these mixed-status families are eligible for child tax credit payments: Under the American Rescue Plan, parents who file their taxes with a Social Security number or an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN ) from the IRS and whose children have a Social Security number to qualify for payments. Granted, they must also meet income and age criteria, just like families where both parents are US citizens.

The problem has been described as frustrating and disappointing by so-called “mixed-status” families who contacted CBS MoneyWatch. It comes after these families struggled last year to receive stimulus benefits, such as the first stimulus check. In this case, the federal government refused checks for $ 1,200 to U.S. citizens married to immigrants without a Social Security number.

In this case, the IRS said the July non-payment for these families was a mistake, adding that it had “worked quickly to correct this problem.”

“The IRS is aware that some taxpayers who filed tax returns with ITIN numbers did not receive their child tax credit payment for July,” an IRS spokesperson told CBS MoneyWatch. “These taxpayers will start receiving payments in August. All affected taxpayers will receive their July payment.”

About 35 million American families with 60 million children received the first monthly check for the July 15 Child Tax Credit, as part of the American Rescue Plan’s efforts to help low- and middle-income families overcome the economic impacts of the pandemic. The enhanced CLC extended payments from $ 2,000 per child to $ 3,600 per child, with half of that being paid by six monthly checks from July through December.

The August payment for the CTC will arrive on August 13, and the additional payments will arrive on the 15th of the following months through December.

An ITIN is issued by the IRS for immigrants who pay taxes but may not be eligible or have already received a Social Security number, and the IRS says they are issued regardless of their status. immigration.

The deployment of the CTC was not without glitches. Some parents said last month that they had not yet received a check or received the wrong amount. In some cases, they may have misunderstood the eligibility requirements, but tax experts have said there have been blockages for some taxpayers whose returns are still being processed by the IRS.


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