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How to contact the IRS about $3,000 to $3,600 Child Tax Credit

The IRS has set up three online portals for the 2021 Child Tax Credit that families can use to provide information to the agency and manage the payments.

The IRS has set up three online portals for the 2021 Child Tax Credit that families can use to provide information to the agency and manage the payments.
HalfpointGetty Images/iStockphoto

The much-anticipated monthly advance payments on the 2021 Child Tax Credit have started, millions of families will begin seeing extra federal assistance to cover the cost of raising children. However, if you need to contact the IRS about the payments the agency has provided three online tools to handle different needs related to the payments.

The IRS said that around 86 percent of payments were sent via direct deposit and those payments should be showing up in accounts across the country. The remaining payments were sent as physical checks and should be arriving in mailboxes, sending prepaid debit cards is not currently an option.

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Eligible families should already be signed up for the payments

Families will be receiving up to $300 for each child under the age of six and up to $250 per child six to 17. For families still reeling from the economic fallout of the covid-19 pandemic this will bring much needed relief to cover day to day expenses from basic necessities to paying the rent or the electric bill. The payments will continue each month until the end of the year.

Most families didn’t need to take any action to sign up for the advance payments on the 2021 Child Tax Credit. The IRS automatically registered families to receive the monthly payments based on tax returns or information provided to its online tool for those who aren’t required to file a tax return. It is up to families to unenroll from the advance payments if they wish to receive the whole of the 2021 Child Tax Credit as a lump sum payment in 2022.

The agency used tax returns from 2020 or 2019 that were process by 28 June to calculate how much families were eligible to receive. Likewise, the same applied for those who don’t normally file a tax return but used the Non-filer online tool last year to register for the first Economic Impact Payment, better known as a stimulus check, or have used the rebooted version to sign up for the advance 2021 Child Tax Credit payments.

How to contact the IRS about the 2021 Child Tax Credit

Even though families are automatically signed up they may want to change the payment type or bank account for where the payments go. The IRS has created a Manage Payments online portal where recipients can update their information to redirect the payments to a different account or change from a physical check to direct deposit to receive the funds faster.

The online tool can also be used to check if you are enrolled or opt out of the monthly payments if you choose. Those that want to unenroll currently can’t stop the July payment, but can stop the August payment, and the other remaining payments, if they feel receiving the remainder of the credit as a lump sum better suits their family.

Currently, the Manage Payments online portal can’t be used to sign up a new addition to your family in 2021, either a newborn, adopted child or dependent. The agency hopes to have this available in the future.

How to sign up for 2021 Child Tax Credit

Those families that neither filed a tax return the last two years nor have used the Non-Filer online tool will be left out of the program unless they take action. This is one of the biggest concerns around the program, that those who could benefit most from it are unaware of the financial aid they can access and will miss out. A recent Data for Progress survey found that over 50 percent of those asked knew little to nothing about the changes to the Child Tax Credit included in the American Rescue Plan signed into law in March.

The IRS, lawmakers and community groups have urged those who know of someone that may benefit from the program to spread the word. The online tools are available in seven languages apart from English.

Using the Non-Filer sign-up tool parents of children 17 and younger can provide their information to the IRS to have access to the monthly assistance. It has been estimated that the monthly basic income for families will halve childhood poverty in 2021, and beyond if the program is extended. Currently, the program will only apply to the 2021 fiscal year. However, there is a push by the White House and progressives in Congress to extend the program.

For more information about the advance Child Tax Credit in 2021 you can check out the IRS Frequently Asked Questions page.


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