Non-filer Tool Helps Families Who Aren’t Normally Required to File Tax Returns Register for Child Tax Credit
Treasury Also Releases Information to Help Organizations Focus Outreach Efforts to Sign Families Up for Monthly Payments of the Child Tax Credit
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service announced today the availability of a new online tool to help families who normally aren’t required to file an income tax return to register quickly for the expanded and newly-advanceable Child Tax Credit from the American Rescue Plan. The new tool is part of a larger effort to help more families obtain advance Child Tax Credit payments.
“At Treasury, our goal is to make sure that every American can get the relief funding they need as simply as possible,” said Secretary Janet L. Yellen. “We know working families can’t put off paying for doctor’s visits or grocery bills, and this new tool will help more people get their tax credit every month, starting in July.”
Available through IRS.gov, the new Non-filer Sign-up Tool is for people who did not file an income tax return for 2019 or 2020 and did not use the IRS Non-filers tool last year to register for Economic Impact Payments. The tool enables them to quickly provide required information about themselves and their qualifying children age 17 and under. Users of the tool can also choose to enter direct deposit bank information so the IRS can deposit the payments directly into their checking or savings account. Eligible individuals who filed a 2019 or 2020 tax return or used the IRS Non-filers tool last year to register for Economic Impact Payments do not need to take any action to receive their advance Child Tax Credit payments beginning in July. This tool, an update of last year’s IRS Non-filers tool, is also designed to help eligible individuals who don’t normally file income tax returns register for the $1,400 third round of Economic Impact Payments (also known as stimulus checks) and claim the Recovery Rebate Credit for any amount of the first two rounds of Economic Impact Payments they may have missed.
Experts estimate that the American Rescue Plan has the potential to lift more than five million children out of poverty this year, cutting child poverty by more than half. The plan increased the maximum Child Tax Credit amount in 2021 to $3,600 per child for children under the age of 6 and to $3,000 per child for children ages 6 through 17. The advance Child Tax Credit payments, which will generally be made on the 15th of each month, create financial certainty for families to plan their budgets. Eligible families will receive a payment of up to $300 per month for each child under age 6, and up to $250 per month for each child ages 6 through 17. The first monthly payment of the expanded and newly-advanceable Child Tax Credit will be made on July 15. Most families will begin receiving monthly payments automatically next month without any further action required. For families who are not required to file an income tax return but are still eligible for advance Child Tax Credit payments, the IRS worked with Intuit and the Free File Alliance to launch this new online tool.
As part of today’s announcement, Treasury Department’s Office of Tax Analysis analyzed IRS data to identify where children who may be eligible to be claimed for the expanded and newly-advanceable Child Tax Credit but who had not been claimed on a recent tax return are located. The data can be used to help organizations focus their outreach efforts seeking to sign up non-filers for monthly Child Tax Credit payments. This ZIP Code-level analysis is available here (PDF,Excel). This new analysis was informed by the work that the Office of Tax Analysis did last year to identify and send letters to nearly nine million people who hadn’t filed a tax return recently but who may have been eligible for an Economic Impact Payment.
Today’s announcement represents the latest collaboration between the Bureau of the Fiscal Service and the IRS — and between Treasury and the White House American Rescue Plan Implementation Team — to ensure help quickly reaches Americans in need as they recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. In the coming weeks, the IRS will be adding other new tools:
- An interactive Child Tax Credit eligibility assistant to help families determine whether they qualify for advance Child Tax Credit payments.
- Another tool, the Child Tax Credit Update Portal, will initially enable anyone who has been determined to be eligible for advance Child Tax Credit payments to see that they are eligible and unenroll, or opt out, of the advance payment program if they prefer. Later, the tool will allow people to check on the status of their monthly payments and make updates to their information. A version in Spanish will be available later this year.
Since March 12, the IRS has also distributed approximately 169 million Economic Impact Payments with a value of approximately $395 billion as a part of the American Rescue Plan.
For additional information for taxpayers on how they can access the Child Tax Credit, visit https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/advance-child-tax-credit-payments-in-2021 and see Frequently Asked Questions here.