The IRS launched two new online tools designed to help families manage and monitor their Child Tax Credit Payments. These two new tools are in addition to the Non-filer Sign-up Tool, which helps families not normally required to file an income tax return to quickly register for the Child Tax Credit Payments.
Child Tax Credit Eligibility Assistant
The first new tool is the Child Tax Credit Eligibility Assistant which should be used before filing a return or using the Non-filer Sign-Up Tool if families are unsure whether they qualify for the credit or the advanced payments. You can find out if you qualify by answering a series of questions.
The IRS emphasized that because the Child Tax Credit Eligibility Assistant requests no personalized information that it is not a registration tool and is simply an eligibility tool. Even though it is not a registration tool it can still help an eligible family determine whether they should take the next step and either file an income tax return or register using the Non-filer Sign-up Tool.
The link to the Child Tax Credit Eligibility Assistant IRS information page, which lists the items you will need to use the tool and provides the link to the tool, is shown below:
Child Tax Credit Update Portal
The second new tool is the Child Tax Credit Update Portal which can be used for managing, monitoring, and unenrolling. To access the portal a person must first verify their identity. If you already have an existing IRS username or an ID.me account with a verified identity, you can use those accounts to easily sign in. If you do not have an existing account, you will be asked to verify your identity with a form of photo identification using ID.me, which is a trusted third party for the IRS. It is important to note that if you are setting up this account on a PC you will also need to use your cell phone to scan your ID and face. Anyone who lacks internet access or otherwise can use the online tool may unenroll by contacting the IRS at the phone number included in your outreach letter you should have received in the mail.
The link to the Child Tax Credit Update Portal IRS information page, which lists the items you will need to use the tool and provides the link to the tool, is shown below:
Option to Unenroll from Child Tax Credit Payments
The Child Tax Credit Update Portal now enables families to easily unenroll from receiving the monthly payments. There are a couple of main reasons why you would choose to unenroll:
1. Some families may prefer to wait and receive the entire credit as a refund when they file their 2021 tax return.
2. Some families may believe they will not qualify when they file their 2021 tax return. This could happen if, for example:
Their income in 2021 is too high to qualify them for the credit.
Someone else qualifies to claim their child or children as dependents in 2021. Or their child or children no longer qualify as a dependent.
Their main home was outside of the United States for more than half of 2021.
It is important to note that if you do not unenroll and receive the payments based on your prior tax return and then do not qualify when you file your 2021 tax return that you may have to pay the payments back on your 2021 tax return. We strongly advise you to take the time to figure out if you should unenroll or not.
To stop the advance payments, you must unenroll 3 days before the first Thursday of next month by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. Below is the chart stating the unenrollment deadline for each payment:
More features coming to the Update Portal soon
Coming soon, families will be able to use the Child Tax Credit Portal to check the status of their payments and view the payments history. In late June, you will be able to update your bank account information for payments starting in August. In early August, a feature is planned that will allow you to update your mailing address. Finally, in future updates planned for this summer and fall, you will be able to use the tool for things like updating family status and changes in income. At this time there is no further information on what the IRS will do with this updated information.
If you need assistance on if you should unenroll from receiving the payments, please contact our office and we would be happy to assist you.