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IRS tool for Child Tax Credit: link and how to use it

An online tool for taxpayers who don’t normally file tax returns has been updated to provide the IRS with information to claim the 2021 Child Tax Credit.

An online tool for taxpayers who don’t normally file tax returns has been updated to provide the IRS with information to claim the 2021 Child Tax Credit.
Kai PfaffenbachREUTERS

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced on Monday that it has brought back the Non-Filer tool that was first created last year to help taxpayers who don’t normally report income claim their $1,200 stimulus check. The updated version will allow those who still haven’t filed a tax return or used the tool before, to register for the 2021 Child Tax Credit and obtain any stimulus money they haven’t received yet.

The IRS created the tool in conjunction with Intuit as part of the Free File Alliance is designed for people who don’t have enough income to be required to file an income tax return. Through the tool individuals and families who have little or no income will be able to provide the IRS with the basic data necessary to calculate and issue their advance payments on the 2021 Child Tax Credit such as name, address, and Social Security numbers.

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Revamped Non-Filer tool

The tool will help underserved groups, including the homeless, to receive the tax benefits created under the American Rescue Plan. The agency asks that all groups and individuals with connections to people with children to share this vital information. The tool is only available at the official IRS.gov website, any other option is a scam.

The updated Non-Filer tool is only for people who never filed a 2019 or 2020 tax return and those who did not use the previous version last year to register for the Economic Impact Payments, better known as stimulus checks. The portal will allow those people to provide the necessary information to the IRS about themselves, their children 17 and under and/or other dependents.

As well, those people will be able to provide their banking information for direct deposit which the IRS recommends so the agency can quickly and easily issue the advance payments directly into a checking or savings account. If the agency does not have a correct bank account, it will send a papercheck to the address it has on file. The IRS will begin making advance payments on the 2021 Child Tax Credit starting 15 July through December 2021.

Americans who have already provided their information, the IRS is automatically determining if families qualify for the advance Child Tax Credit payments based on the information taxpayers have provided to the agency either through a tax return or the Non-Filer tool last year.

The payments will be up to $300 per month for each child under age 6 and up to $250 per month for each child age 6 through 17. The child’s age must be under 6, or 17 and under, at the end of 2021 for the child to be eligible for the respective advance payments.

IRS online tools for 2021 Child Tax Credit

In the coming weeks the IRS will also launch two more online tools for the 2021 Child Tax Credit that parents can use. The agency will set up first an interactive Child Tax Credit eligibility assistant where parents can check whether they qualify to receive advance payments on the 2021 Child Tax Credit. The IRS is currently determining which families qualify for the 2021 Child Tax Credit based on 2020 tax returns when available.

The second portal will allow parents that have been determined to be eligible for the advance payments to see their eligibility and choose to unenroll, or opt out, of those payments and instead claim the amount of the credit they qualify for as a lump sum when they file their 2021 tax return next year. The IRS is contacting potentially eligible families by post and will later send a second personalized letter to inform them how much they are likely to receive.

The second online tool will later give taxpayers the ability to check the status of their payments and make updates to their information as their family or financial circumstances change. This online tool will eventually be made available in Spanish as well. For people who are seeking the most up-to-date information on the Advance Child Tax Credit 2021, the IRS has created a dedicated webpage; IRS.gov/childtaxcredit2021.