Child tax credit: IRS portals will open in July for you to get your money

  May 25, 2021   c/net personal finance

The IRS is planning to open the two online child tax credit portals by July 1. That's where you'll change your status and more.

If you're eligible for the child tax credit payments, you should get a head start on calculating how much money you'll get before the first payment arrives July 15.

The IRS is working on opening two portals for families with qualifying dependents so they can update their information.

The portals will be available for you to:

  • register (if you don't normally file a tax return),
  • update information (if there's a change in the number of dependents) and to 
  • opt out of the monthly payments if you want a larger check instead. 

On the 15th of each month, the advance child tax credit payments will be sent out -- unless it falls on a weekend or holiday.

Each check could be as much as $300 per child depending on the child's age by the end of 2021. Parents should be aware of the income limit and other requirements to get the full payment per child.

As we get more information from the IRS, we'll update this story frequently to explain the separate portals.

Here are some different ways to use your child tax credit checks, how you may receive your payment and how you can claim an additional $8,000 to $16,000 credit for child care expenses.

What can you do when the IRS child tax credit portals open?

Taxpayer families will be able to make changes to any life circumstances since they last filed their taxes, such as an income change and child custody status.

For example, if you started making less money this year, you'll want to update the IRS about those changes so you can get the correct child tax credit amount.

If you had or will have a new baby this year, it's important to let the IRS know, so you can receive your payment for up to $3,600 for that child.

The same applies if you adopted a child or if you gained a new child dependent since you last filed your taxes. 

Also, if you've gained full custody of your child, you'll be the parent who receives the money for your kid. Note that parents who have shared custody will not each get a payment.

This is important for domestic violence survivors, Nina Olson, executive director of the Center for Taxpayer Rights said during an IRS oversight hearing.

"That change of circumstances portal should allow them to enter their change in marital status and also where the children are."

When will qualified families have access to the two online portals?

The IRS has set an open deadline of July 1, though we don't have an exact date yet. The portals could come online sooner than that.

The IRS is simultaneously processing tens of millions of tax returns, which may affect the timeline while it also organizes the child tax credit program.

Can families opt out of monthly payments using one of the IRS portals?

The main portal will let you opt out of receiving the monthly child tax credit payments.

What does that mean? It means that instead of receiving monthly payments of, say, $300 for your 4-year-old, you can wait until you file your 2021 taxes next year to receive the $3,600 lump sum amount.

You may also want to opt out because you're expecting your circumstances to change and don't want to update your information in the portal.

Will the online portals be useful for people who don't normally file taxes?

The IRS will open a second portal dedicated to people who don't typically file their income taxes.

This child tax credit portal will allow this group to give the IRS their updated information, including the number and ages of their qualifying child dependents. 

The portal is expected to let tax nonfilers submit a simplified electronic form to the IRS to secure their eligibility. This group would include people who don't have bank accounts, as well as the homeless population.

What can families do that don't have a permanent address right now? 

Right now, the IRS is urging people to share information about the child tax credit to those who don't have permanent addresses.

By doing this, you're helping make sure eligible people receive the payments they're eligible for. You can share the information about the portals with them so they know about the programs to help them file a tax return.



Posted: May 26, 2021