The IRS unveiled a new online tool to help low-income families register for Child Tax Credit checks, which are due to hit bank accounts in less than a month.
The tool allows eligible people who aren’t required to file taxes due to low income to provide the IRS the basic personal information – including name and Social Security number – needed to calculate and issue their Advance Child Tax Credit payments.
This tool is an updated version of the one used last year to help non-filers register for the batch of $1,400 stimulus checks. People can also use the tool to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit for stimulus money they may have previously missed out on.
Both the monthly checks and the total benefit have changed from last year, when the full credit was typically applied at tax filing time. This year, families who claim the Child Tax Credit will receive up to $3,000 per qualifying child between 6 and 17 years old at the end of 2021. They will receive $3,600 per qualifying child, under age 6 at the end of 2021. Those benefit amounts will be reduced for high-income earners.
The planned distribution dates for the checks are: July 15, Aug. 13, Sept. 15, Oct. 15, Nov. 15, and Dec. 15.
“We have been working hard to begin delivering the monthly Advance Child Tax Credit to millions of families with children in July,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig, said in a press release on the new tool.
“This new tool will help more people easily gain access to this important credit as well as help people who don’t normally file a tax return obtain an Economic Impact Payment. We encourage people to review the details about this important new effort.”
The Non-filer Sign-up Tool is for people who did not file a tax return for 2019 or 2020 and who did not use the IRS Non-filers tool last year to register for Economic Impact Payments.
Most families will not need the tool to receive the monthly checks.
“Eligible families who already filed or plan to file 2019 or 2020 income tax returns should not use this tool. Once the IRS processes their 2019 or 2020 tax return, the information will be used to determine eligibility and issue advance payments,” said the IRS in a statement. “Families who want to claim other tax benefits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit for low- and moderate-income families, should not use this tool and instead file a regular tax return. For them, the fastest and easiest way to file a return is the Free File system, available only on IRS.gov.”
Child Tax Credit Payment Calculator
Use the calculator below to estimate how much you might receive in child tax credit periodic payments beginning in July, 2021
As monthly paments approach, the IRS suspects scam attempts related to the payments to ramp up.
“Watch out for scams using email, phone calls or texts related to the payments,” wrote the IRS. “Be careful and cautious: The IRS never sends unsolicited electronic communications asking anyone to open attachments or visit a non-governmental web site.”