Children line up to attend class at PS 361 in Manhattan on the first day of a return to class during the Covid pandemic in New York City on Dec. 7, 2020.
Carlo Allegri | Reuters
People who don’t generally file taxes but have children who are eligible for the new enhanced child tax credit can now sign up for the benefit without submitting a return.
The IRS debuted on Monday its new non-filer sign-up tool so families can ensure they’ll get the credit and monthly payments starting July 15.
In addition to enrolling for the child tax credit, the tool will help people register for their third $1,400 economic impact payment as well as claim the recovery rebate credit if they did not receive previous stimulus checks they were eligible for, according to the agency.
“We have been working hard to begin delivering the monthly Advance Child Tax Credit to millions of families with children in July,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig in a statement. “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.”
The new portal is only for people who have not filed a 2019 or 2020 tax return and who did not use the IRS non-filers tool in 2020 to register for economic impact payments. With the online tool, people will be able to give the IRS their personal information, including name, address and Social Security number, as well as details about their children aged 17 and under and their direct deposit information.
The portal was developed by Intuit and delivered through the IRS Free File Alliance.
One more IRS portal is coming
Another portal set to launch later in June will help families that have filed a 2019 or 2020 tax return that’s been processed by the agency give more current information about their household. This is important for families that have more eligible children in 2021, have had a change in marital status or a significant drop in income — all of which could mean they’re owed larger monthly checks through the credit.
This portal will also allow families to opt out of receiving the monthly payments, meaning they’ll get the full credit amount when they file 2021 taxes. (The monthly payments are an advance on a 2021 tax credit.)
The child tax credit was enhanced by the American Rescue Plan, signed into law by President Joe Biden in March. The new credit increases the annual benefit per child age 17 and younger to $3,000 from $2,000 for 2021. It also gives an additional $600 benefit for children under the age of 6.
The full expanded benefit is available to all children 17 and under in families with 2020 or 2019 adjusted gross income of less than $75,000 for single parents and $150,000 for a married couple filing jointly, and ends for individuals earning $95,000 and married couples filing jointly making $170,000 (though they’d still be eligible for the regular child tax credit.)