The IRS has announced the launch of two new online tools to help families verify, manage and monitor monthly payments of child tax credits under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) (P.L. 117-2). These are in addition to the Non-filer Sign-up tool announced last week, which helps families register for child tax credits. The tools are both available through the Update Portal at https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/child-tax-credit-update-portal.
The Treasury and IRS have urged taxpayers to use a special online tool to determine eligibility for the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and the special monthly advance payments beginning on July 15. The new CTC Eligibility Assistant is interactive and easy to use. It is particularly useful to those who do not normally file a federal tax return and have not yet filed either a 2019 or 2020 return.
“This new tool provides an important first step to help people understand if they qualify for the CTC, which is especially important for those who don’t normally file a tax return,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “The eligibility assistant works in concert with other features on IRS.gov to help people receive this important credit. The IRS is working hard to deliver the expanded Child Tax Credit, and we will be rolling out additional help for taxpayers in the near future. Where possible, please help us help others by distributing CTC information in your communities,” he added.
The CTC Eligibility Assistant does not request any personally-identifiable information for any family member. The tool can be found at https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/advance-child-tax-credit-eligibility-assistant.
In addition to verification of their eligibility, the Update Portal allows a taxpayer to unenroll from receiving monthly payments, in order to receive a lump sum. The tool can be found at https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/advance-child-tax-credit-payments-in-2021. The unenroll feature is helpful to families that no longer qualify for the child tax credit or believe they will not qualify when they file their 2021 return. This could happen if:
- their income in 2021 is too high to qualify for the credit;
- someone else (an ex-spouse or another family member, for example) qualifies to claim their child or children as dependents in 2021; or
- their main home was outside of the United States for more than half of 2021.
Further, future versions and new features of the tool are planned for the summer and fall. These updates will allow taxpayers to view their payment history, adjust bank account information or mailing addresses. In general, these payments will go to families who:
- filed either a 2019 or 2020 federal income tax return;
- used the Non-Filers tool register for an Economic Impact Payment; or
- registered for the advance child tax credit using the new Non-filer Sign-up tool.
Next, eligible families will receive advance payments, either by direct deposit or check. Each payment will be up to $300 per month for each child under age six and up to $250 per month for each child ages six through 17. Filing soon will ensure that the IRS has taxpayers’ most current bank account information and key details about qualifying family members. This includes individuals who do not normally file tax returns, including families experiencing homelessness and individuals in undeserved groups.
The IRS also announced pertinent child tax credit changes. The ARP raised the maximum child tax credit to $3,600 for children under the age of six and to $3,000 per child for children ages six through 17. Finally, the IRS urged community groups, non-profits, associations, education organizations and taxpayers with connections to individuals with children to share this critical information about the child tax credit as well as other important benefits.