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IRS child tax credit phone number: How to get your questions answered

CNET logo CNET 1/5/2022 Katie Teague
text, letter: The IRS can help with your child tax credit payment issues. Angela Lang/CNET © Provided by CNET The IRS can help with your child tax credit payment issues. Angela Lang/CNET

The IRS has finished sending the monthly child tax credit checks, with just one more payment on the way. But if you're one of the people who experienced problems -- maybe one or more of your checks never arrived -- you're likely wanting answers before tax season arrives. If the IRS Update Portal was no help, it may be time to contact the agency. 

Before calling the IRS, be aware you may face long call waiting times and there are limits on how much the agency may be able to help you -- although it may be your only option if you've exhausted all other resources. You may be able to answer some of your questions by first making sure that you're actually eligible for the enhanced child tax credit. Did you file your taxes last year? Is your information updated in the IRS portals? 

If you've gone through all your options and still haven't found a solution, we'll tell you how to contact the IRS and potentially make an appointment. Also, here's how to check the amount of money you qualify for.

Call this IRS phone number to ask about child tax credit payments

Before you make a call to the IRS, note that the call volumes are extremely high and you may have to wait a long time to speak with a representative. The IRS says you may be waiting on hold for an average of 13 minutes and that wait times are higher on Monday and Tuesday.

To get started, you can call 800-829-1040 to reach the tax agency about an issue you're having with your child tax credit payment. Make sure you have the following information on hand to verify your identification.

  • Your Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
  • Your birth date
  • Filing status: single, head of household, married filing joint or married filing separate

How to set up an in-person appointment with the IRS

The IRS has many offices across the US, and if there's one near you, you can make an appointment to speak with someone in person. Here's how to schedule a meeting.

1. Head to the IRS Taxpayer Assistance Tool page and enter your ZIP code. Tap Search.

2. Choose the location nearest to you and select Make Appointment.

3. Call the appointment phone number for the office you want to visit.

4. When you go to your local branch, make sure to bring a government-issued photo ID and your ITIN or Social Security number.

Note that you may need to follow the IRS guidelines for COVID-19 -- for instance, you may be required to wear a mask, maintain social distancing and reschedule your appointment if you feel sick.

For more child tax credit details, here's how to track missing tax credit checks online and how parents can get the child tax credit for babies born in 2021.

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