On Sept. 15, millions of families received the third advance child tax credit payment automatically from the IRS.
But others who got their July and August payments without a problem have yet to get their money.
Sarene Leeds, 44, is one such parent. The freelance writer in White Plains, New York, was expecting to get $300 in September for her 5-year-old daughter. Leeds got the first payment in July via direct deposit and a paper check for August.
That struck her as odd, as she'd signed up for direct deposit and the IRS portal lists that as her preferred method of delivery, so she didn't inquire further.
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"As long as I get the money, I'm not going to raise a fuss over whether or not it's wired direct deposit," she said.
But days after the September deadline, she still doesn't have the payment or know if it's coming. The IRS Update Portal shows that she's eligible for the money, but that no payment has been processed for September to track (if, for example, she were issued another paper check that was simply delayed in the mail.)
Leeds has tried calling the IRS but has been unable to get through, she said.
"We are relying on these payments," she said, adding that her husband, a musician, lost work during the pandemic. "And, they've been promised to us.
"It's definitely a matter of principle."