Some 6 million returns from last year have yet to be processed. Delays could snowball for seasons to come.
The payments typically came through about this time, but not this month. Some families had come to depend on that extra money.
The one-year program increased payments and expanded eligibility to the poorest families. Congress has not moved to extend those changes.
The expansion of the child tax credit was temporary and will expire at the end of the year unless Congress votes to extend it.
The revamped CTC provides a monthly check to families — without requiring an income.
Opponents fear that requirement could make the benefit inaccessible to the families who need it most.
The people who most need the aid “have to jump the most hurdles to get it,” says Chabeli Carrazana, economy reporter at the 19th.
By one estimate, some 4 million children and their families may be missing out on the payments.
Early data from Columbia University’s Center on Poverty and Social Policy show child poverty dropped after the first child tax credit payment in July.
Expanded child tax payments have helped families — especially Black and Latinx households — struggling with food insecurity.