Families who filed a 2019 or 2020 tax return should automatically receive their child tax credit payments. Online IRS tools will help with everything else.
Roughly $15 billion worth of child tax credit payments were disbursed to eligible families last week, averaging $483 per household. Monthly payments will continue through December to total half of the credit owed, with the rest of the credit coming in 2022. Between this year and next, families can get up to $3,000 total for each kid between ages 6 and 17, and up to $3,600 total for each child 5 and younger.
The new IRS portals that opened this summer and other web resources assist in making sure you’re registered and that you get the correct credit amount. (You can also use CNET’s calculator to estimate how much you qualify for.) To use the main IRS Update Portal, you’ll need to first take some time to create an ID.me account. The Update Portal not only lets you verify your eligibility; it also lets you view payments, unenroll from receiving the monthly prepayments and update your bank account information.
Later on this summer, you should be able to make online changes to the number of dependents you have, your marital status and your income. Those details are key so the IRS doesn’t send an overpayment, which could then negatively affect your taxes in 2022. Below, we’ll explain how to use the two other online tools, including a portal for low-income families that don’t normally file income tax returns. We’ve made recent updates to this story.
What do the IRS child tax credit portals and tools let parents do?
Most families that qualify for the expanded credit don’t need to take any action if they want the advance payments this year. If you already filed a 2019 or 2020 federal income tax return (or used the nonfiler tool in 2020 to register for a stimulus payment), you’ll get the credit automatically. And the credit is nonrefundable, so you don’t need income to get it.
The online tools are useful for a variety of reasons. Here’s how they help parents with eligible dependents:
The Child Tax Credit Update Portal lets you verify that your family qualifies for the credit and opt out of receiving any payments in 2021. (The next deadline to opt out is Aug. 2.) You can also use it to view your payment history and provide the IRS with your direct deposit information. In the coming months, you’ll use this portal to update your home mailing address and inform the IRS on changes in family status, dependents and income.
A nonfilers’ portal lets you provide the IRS with basic information about yourself and your dependents if you normally aren’t required to file a tax return. The tool is intended to help low-income households register for the payments.
The Child Tax Credit Eligibility Assistant can help you determine whether you qualify for the advance child tax credit payments. The interactive tool is now available in Spanish and other languages. ReadMore
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