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New IRS tool lets low-income families register for the advance child tax credit payments

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Twenty/20

Families who don't normally file a tax return but are eligible for the new advance child tax credit payments can use a new online tool from the IRS to ensure they get their checks in the months to come.

The new non-filer sign-up tool is an updated version of the tool the agency created to help people who don't normally file income tax returns register for their stimulus checks and claim the Recovery Rebate Credit. Now, the portal will help low-income families register for the monthly advance child tax credit, or CTC, payments.

The enhanced CTC payments are worth up to $300 per month for each child under age 6 and up to $250 per month for each child age 6 through 17. The first advance payment is slated for July 15, with five additional payouts scheduled for this calendar year.

The IRS typically calculates the payments based on a person's 2020 tax return, or, if that is not available, a person's 2019 tax information. But many people never file a return, making it more difficult for the IRS to send them stimulus payments or these refundable tax credits.

People who don't make enough income to file an income tax return but are eligible for the CTC payments can use the tool to provide the IRS with their name, address and Social Security number, as well as information on the number of dependents they have and their bank account number.

The IRS will also release two additional CTC-related tools in the coming month. Here's what those will be, per the IRS:

  • An interactive eligibility assistant that will estimate how much families can expect to receive.
  • The Child Tax Credit Update Portal, which will initially let taxpayers opt out of the advance payment program. At a later date, people will be able to use this tool to check on the status of their payments and make updates.

If you filed a tax return in 2019 or 2020, you don't need to take any other action to receive the payments, the IRS says.

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