Parents who did not file taxes will not receive a child tax credit unless they act by October 15

The third child tax credit payment this month affected 35 million families.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Earlier this summer, after the first monthly advance payment of the child tax credit has been issued, a published report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities warned that some 4 million children in low-income households may not benefit from the improved benefit this year. And that’s because the IRS is basing eligibility for this year’s advance payments on 2020 tax returns. If families weren’t earning enough to file a return, or if they haven’t yet recovered. , the IRS would not know that they are qualified to get the money, which could be up to $ 3,600 per child annually.

In fact, in previous years, low-income families or parents with no income received only part of the credit, if at all. But the rules for the 2021 credit have changed to allow more families to qualify, even if they have no income. The IRS has allowed non-filing families to register online for free by completing a simplified return. Additionally, when you use the Non-Filer Enrollment Tool, the IRS will automatically issue a payment for the Child Tax Credit and the third stimulus check if you are eligible.

What does all of this mean to you? With three monthly payments already issued – and three more to be made this year – the last day to use the IRS Non-Filer Tool is October 15. And if parents register online before October 4, they might even be eligible to get their first check in October. To find out more, here’s what you need to know Upcoming deadlines and how use the IRS update portal to manage payments and update your personal information.

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Child tax credit: everything we know


How to Use the IRS Non-Reporting Tool to Sign Up for Payments

The IRS launched its online tool in June to help families who don’t normally file tax returns enroll in this year’s child tax credit program. The tool is not intended for families who have already filed – or plan to file – their 2019 or 2020 tax returns. The IRS will use these tax returns to determine eligibility and make future payments to eligible families. . Center on Budget and Policy Priorities predicts that families will be needed 15 to 30 minutes to register.

Free Registration tool for non-filers is designed to allow the poorest families and homeless people to register with their name, address and social security numbers. Individuals will be able to notify the IRS of one of their eligible dependents and will be able to provide their banking information for direct deposit payments once they begin.

The IRS has guidelines on how to fill out the form. The first step is to create an account with an e-mail address. The next steps require entering your information, including an address or bank account to receive payments. You will also need to provide your adjusted gross income, or AGI, and sign the form electronically. Here’s what to do:

1. To start, create an account if you don’t have one yet. You will need a phone number, password, and email address to confirm your information. Note that it can take up to 48 hours for the IRS to confirm your email address – and another 48 hours after submitting your information for the IRS to accept it.

2. On the next page – “Fill out your tax forms” – enter your information, including your filing status and details about dependents. These fields are required, but you can ignore the optional fields if they do not apply to you. For example, you can also add information about your “Recovery Rebate Credit” to the form, or your banking information to receive your payments electronically rather than by mail. Faucet Go to step 2 when it’s ready.

3. On this page – “Transfer your tax forms electronically” – you will provide your adjusted gross income, or AGI, and sign the form electronically by creating a new PIN code. If you did not declare taxes last year, enter “0” in the box for AGI and ignore the part about last year’s self-selected signing PIN. When you are finished, press the Continue to E-File button to submit your information.

The tool has been criticized by some advocacy groups so as not to be easy to use. The IRS recommends using the portal on a laptop or desktop computer, not a phone. (the platform on mobile devices is not as easy to read.) Users will also need an email address, strong internet connection, filing status, and other tax information, which is not usually available to them. non-declarants. For now, it is only accessible in English, although the instructions are available in several languages.

Do not use the IRS non-filer tool if you have filed a tax return

The IRS says you shouldn’t use the non-classifying online tool if you have already filed a 2020 income tax return or if your adjusted gross income, or AGI, was over $ 12,400 ($ 24,800 for a married couple). It also says that you cannot use the tool if your primary residence is outside the United States, if you or your spouse can be claimed as dependents, or if you are claiming an advance child tax credit for a child. child born in 2021. (However, you can use the tool if you need to apply for a recovery reimbursement credit.)


The next monthly check will be issued on October 15th.

Sarah Tew / CNET

How to opt out of monthly advance payments

Families can unsubscribe from the child tax credit defer advance monthly checks and instead receive the remainder of the credit during tax season next year. The sooner you unsubscribe through the Update Portal, the better, as it may take up to seven days for your request to be processed. This month, you can re-register if you change your mind.

Here are the remaining deadlines for opting out of the Monthly Advance Payment program.

Child tax credit deregistration deadlines

Unsubscribe date

Payment date

October 4

October 15

November, 1st

November 15

29 november

December 15

What to know about payments and taxes next year

Child Tax Credit Payments are advances on the following year’s tax refund for eligible parents. You will receive half of the money over seven payments in 2021 and 2022. If for some reason you receive more money than you are entitled to, you will have to pay the IRS the difference based on your tax return when you file in 2022. However, there is a repayment protection program to help low-income families who may not be able to repay the extra money.

Other Ways to Use IRS Child Tax Credit Tools

We anticipate changes to the IRS website throughout the fall. You can now view your Child Tax Credit payment history and update your direct deposit and mailing address in the Update Portal. Later, you can edit other household details such as the number of dependents and income.

For more information on child tax credit, here’s what to do if you are miss a payment.

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