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IRS investigating why some families didn't receive September Child Tax Credit

Posted at 1:16 PM, Sep 23, 2021

(WXYZ) — The IRS says it is investigating why payments are not going out to some families who should be eligible for the September Child Tax Credit.

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The payments are supposed to go out on the 15th of the month until the end of the year.

Photo from the IRS

The president and congressional leaders said the payments would help families struggling due to the pandemic, and help bring children out of poverty.

From toys and art supplies, to clothes and diapers. Children are expensive. The Child Tax Credit aimed to help families cover costs with a monthly payment through the end of the year. But there is a problem. Promised payments are not going out.

"I have received my July payment and my August payment," said Janet Dimech.

Janet is a mom to two. She says she and her husband planned to use their September Child Tax Credit payment to help them cover child care costs as they start new jobs.

But the IRS didn’t send it to her bank account.

"I called the number on their site, got a hold of someone and they said that I would not be receiving my September payment now. That it would just be added to my taxes instead," she said.

She is not alone. WXYZ has heard from numerous parents, sending us messages about payments not being sent.

"We never received one," said Jamie Harrison.

Jamie is a mom to 4. She says she spent hours on the phone to get the issue resolved, and the IRS said she was good to go on the phone, and on the IRS portal.

"The 17th to the 18th, the morning I woke up and we checked it again, I went back to pending eligibility and there is no answer to why," she said.

Taking a look at the Child Tax Credit, the American Rescue Plan expanded it in July, making it a credit that families get even if they don’t owe taxes, as a direct payment.

In July, the IRS started sending credits of $300 a month for children under 6 and and $250 a month for children under 18 to both middle class and poor families across the country.

The Director of Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan Luke Shaefer said last summer it had the potential to cut child poverty nationwide by 45%.

“In the City of Detroit, in particular, we are talking about more than 20,000 children who could be lifted above the poverty line," said Shaefer.

The IRS released data on August, when it made 1,024,000 Payments, helping 1,773,000 Michigan children. In total, it put $449,614,000 into the pockets of Michigan families.

How many people are not getting the money they should at all, or suddenly this month?

The IRS did not provide the answer, only saying it is looking into the situation.

The families I spoke to say if the program is not reliable there is the potential it could hurt some more than it helps.

"We are literally in the negative right now and we can’t pay rent at all right now," said Jamie.

Jamie is working a second job with Shipt, but if she has to wait until tax refund time, she fears eviction.

"They should still fix the issue now. Not just say wait til next year? Right?" said Jamie.