The IRS is reaching out to America’s school districts asking them to help spread the word about the 2021 Advance Child Tax Credit payments, which could be to up to $1,800 per qualifying child. These payments are made automatically to taxpayers who qualified based on their 2020 federal income tax return. The current outreach efforts are focused on families who may not be required to file tax returns.
Unfortunately, within our communities, there may be some eligible families who are not receiving these advance payments and who are unsure of what to do to receive them or where to go for answers. The IRS has tools and answers that can help with the Advance Child Tax Credit payments. The Child Tax Credit Non-filer Sign-up Tool can help families get the Advance Child Tax Credit payments and help them get missed Economic Impact Payments (EIP). This could amount to over $14,000 for a family of 2 adults and 2 children who may be struggling to make ends meet.
Step 1: See if you qualify using the Child Tax Credit Eligibility Assistant
Though this step is optional, it can be helpful if you are unsure whether you qualify for either the credit or the advance payments. By answering a series of questions on the Child Tax Credit Eligibility Assistant you can preliminarily find out whether you qualify for the credit and the payments. You may still be able to benefit from the credit even if you aren’t working now or didn’t work in 2020.
Step 2: Register with the IRS using the Non-filer Sign-up Tool or file a more complete 2020 tax return
If you qualify for the Child Tax Credit or the advance payments but are not required to file a federal tax return for 2020, then you can register using the Non-filer Signup Tool. The Tool will also allow you to request the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit if you didn’t get the full amount of your Economic Impact Payments. But you should consider filing a more complete tax return for 2020 if
you’re eligible for other tax benefits.
Step 3: Monitor payments and update your info using the Child Tax Credit Update Portal
After the IRS processes your tax return or after you register through the Non-filer Sign-up Tool, you can use the Child Tax Credit Update Portal to monitor or manage your monthly payments. Initially, you can use it to verify eligibility, check the status of your payments, or update your bank account information. You can also use it to opt out or unenroll from receiving monthly payments. Later this year, you will be able to use the Child Tax Credit Update Portal to update your account.